“Gap has been really struggling to find its identity over the past few years, and the latest back-to-school campaign is no different. While it’s well-produced and its stars adorable, it is nothing more than a montage of slick visuals of amazing kids doing cool stuff. Gap needs to do the hard work of defining its own core message, rather than riding off of the cuteness of kids,” said Quynh Mai, founder of creative agency Moving Image & Content.
Last week, the brand rolled out its back-to-school campaign, the first campaign under its recently appointed CMO, Alegra O’Hare. O’Hare joined the team in February from Adidas, where she was svp of global brand communications for Adidas Originals and Adidas Style. The new campaign features a group of musically inclined kids, from a 7-year-old self-taught pianist who also happens to be blind, to a 13-year-old electric guitar player. In the video, the kids play the Guns N’ Roses hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Gap’s push into more kids-focused marketing is a strategic one for the brand, considering the growth of the children’s clothing market. Market intelligence agency Mintel projected that the market will reach $40.6 billion by 2023.
The campaign includes videos and images shared across social and digital channels and had a “significant media investment” behind it, a spokesperson for the brand said. However, the brand declined to share specifics around the investment. Gap Inc. CEO and president Art Peck said on the brand’s latest earnings call in May that the company shifted most of its marketing spend away from the first quarter to late Q2 and Q3, with a specific focus on the kids apparel sector.