The new ad campaign for clothing giant Gap stars a 7-year-old blind pianist and a 13-year-old electric guitar player, playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” from Guns N’ Roses. This marks a push in Gap’s new identity and marketing strategy.
CEO Art Peck said: “You’ll also see Gap brand reinvest in marketing, kids and baby business with a strong back-to-school push later this year. This is especially important, given that market share is now up for grabs, and this is a clear opportunity for Gap brand given its strong equity in kids and baby.”
Clothing retailers that specialize in children’s clothing, such as Gymboree and Children’s Place, have either gone out of business, or are in dire financial situations, so this is a great opportunity for the company to win a bigger percentage of that thriving market.
The end of the summer season when children are returning back to school is the best time for clothing retailers, and it is estimated that parents will spend around $27.8 billion on clothing and other school supplies.
Alegra O’Hare, Gap’s chief marketing officer, said: “We want to give kids the confidence they need to pursue their passions and inspire them to break boundaries.”
Jan Kniffen, a retail industry consultant, thinks that this may not be enough to rebrand Gap’s image: “Gap has been struggling to find their identity for 15 years. It needs to be reinvented. It’s just a mishmash of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. They’re in an extraordinarily competitive environment and they have nothing unique. One campaign is not going to change anything for the Gap. If they can follow this up with more innovative, interesting, catch-your-attention ideas, it could be a start.”
The company’s market cap is at around $7 billion, with Old Navy as their most successful brand that accounts for 40% of the company’s sales.