Gap Is Comparing Its Founders To Jesus In Its New Marketing Mantra

gap jesus

Photo: BI / Kirsten Acuna

Gap chief marketing officer Seth Farbman repeated a mantra ad nauseam at Ad Age’s Digital Conference Tuesday: “What would Don and Doris do?”It’s a riff on the religious bumper sticker, “What would Jesus do?”

Farbman was referring to Don and Doris Fisher, who co-founded the Gap in 1969 after Don had bad experience trying to return a pair of jeans to an unorganized store with a bad selection, and Doris decided that the only solution was to open their own store.

Unfortunately the #WWDDD hashtag has Twitter competition. Mad Men fans have already co-opted “What would Don Draper do?” (Also not like Jesus).

The WWDDD doctrine was discussed during Farbman’s provocatively titled speech, “Digital Is Dead.” Well, kind of. Digital is dead in the sense that, “if we wouldn’t have done it in 1969, 1970 or 1971, if Don and Doris wouldn’t do it, then it’s just digital to be digital.”

Farbman continued that “the tools have changed, the underlying connection has not,” using the comparison that Coachella and Woodstock are essentially the same thing, it’s just that people used to document their travails with Kodak and now they use Instagram.

So how has what is Gap doing digitally that Don and Doris would approve of?

Apparently Gap Casting Call in which parents compete to get their children featured in Gap ads. “A part of it a little bit, of course, is that parents want their kids to have recognition and fame,” Farbman said. “But part of it is parents working together … they compete with each other. Go back to Don and Doris, that’s what they wanted.”

The Don and Doris mantra appears to be working: Gap posted an increase in same-store sales through March.

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