- Iconic singer Cher and hip-hop star Future are collaborating to help launch Gap's "Meet Me in the Gap" fall advertising campaign, according to a press release. In it, the two perform a rendition of the Sly and the Family Stone hit "Everyday People" and celebrate what they have in common rather than what divides them.
- A TV spot directed by Director X has the two performers coming together in a spare, blank space — or "in the gap" — as culturally-relevant figures who hadn't met before. Director X also shot a series of meet ups that brought together diverse groups of influencers. One film, titled "Bounce meet Bounce meet Bounce," featured basketball players, tap dancers and a mix artist, and blended together samples from sounds from basketballs, synchronized tap movements and a produced beat for an original musical composition.
- "Meet Me in the Gap" was unveiled in late July, but is fully launching Sept. 18 as an omnichannel effort that includes TV, outdoor, mobile, social, print, in-store and digital efforts. The TV spots are airing on major networks and on digital video channels such as Vevo, Hulu and YouTube. The print campaign will have tribute advertisements in anniversary issues of Vogue and GQ. Gap will also launch a namesake Spotify channel with a mashup playlist.
Given the highly-divided political and social climate, more brands are leaning into marketing that promotes a message of unity and understanding differences. But rather than taking a tone of solemnity, Meet Me in the Gap is focused on positive uplift and a concept — having pop culture figures meet "in the gap" — rather than current events. The TV spot launching the campaign does so by bringing together celebrities from different musical backgrounds, potentially broadening its appeal and even tapping into '70s nostalgia with the Sly and the Family Stone cover.
There are, however, still risks associated with having celebrities front-and-center in marketing efforts that tackle topics with real-world weight. Pepsi learned this the hard way with a notoriously tone-deaf spot starring Kendall Jenner, where she brought together protesters and police with help from a can of Pepsi. The widely-mocked ad was eventually pulled. Gap's fall campaign is far more agreeable and leverages a number of different tactics including social influencers to better communicate a message of authenticity and connect with shoppers.
This strategy fits into other diversity-minded promotions from the embattled retailer, whose parent company, Gap Inc., earlier this month announced plans to close hundreds of stores. For its summer campaign, called "I Am Gap," the brand opted for using real people over professional models, showcasing diversity and simplicity. The presence of Future and Cher in Meet Me in the Gap suggests Gap is now experimenting with a mix of smaller influencers and big-name celebrities in its marketing.