Gap has a new strategy to win back customers

The gap fall 2015 ad campaignThe GapOne of the Gap’s new ads.

Gap is trying to win back straying customers with a new ad campaign.

The retailer, famously known for celebrity-driven ad campaigns, has replaced famous people for models in its fall-winter 2015 ads, Fashion Gone Rogue reports.

Gap hired supermodels Andreea Diaconu, Liu Wen, Karolin Wolter, Aya Jones and Angel Rut, Fashion Gone Rogue writes.

The campaign is relatively simple: it features models up against a plain backdrop.

This is a far cry from Gap’s most recent ad campaigns, which have been a series of misfires.

There was the failed “dress normal” campaign in 2014, which resulted in several months of declining sales.

Adweek reported the brand had hired creative agency Wieden + Kennedy to execute the campaign. Gap attempted to jump onto the “normcore” trend, and claimed that the campaign “[celebrated] the individuality and authenticity of personal style by questioning what it means to dress normal” in a press release.

Celebrities such as Elisabeth Moss and Zosia Mamet appeared in ads, and other ads boasted odd platitudes like “dress like no one is watching” and “let your actions speak louder than your clothes.”

Jezebel writer Isha Aran summed up the campaign with a very apt headline: “Gap’s blah ‘dress normal’ campaign doesn’t get the irony of normcore.”

The Gap misfired again with a bizarre ad campaign in February 2015 on Tinder, in which ads disguised as profile were removed from the dating app. However, the Gap released an Instagram “micro-series” starring Jenny Slate and Paul Dano called “Spring Is Weird,” as possible attempt to win back consumers. 

Prior to those confounding campaigns, the Gap had a recent history of struggling to find its identity — especially through its advertising.

Gap used to have iconic advertising campaigns, like the famous “khaki swing”commercial.

This new campaign is crucial.

Gap has been ailing, as the brand recently disclosed it would be shuttering 175 stores  — 140 this fiscal year, alone. 

Meanwhile, company’s younger and more affordable sibling, Old Navy, has been outperforming its namesake brand. 

A simple campaign may help Gap get back to its roots, which Jessica Navas, chief planning officer of Erwin Penland, told Business Insider was “great, great, great basics for a very accessible price.”

Back in its heyday, she said, Gap “elevated incredible basics to not just an iconic status in terms of clothing, but also a spirit — you felt like there was such a strong attitude, so much energy.”

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