Blog: Leonie BarrieGap's spotlight on LA and beyond

Leonie Barrie | 23 August 2011

A still from Gap Inc

A still from Gap Inc's new marketing campaign: Los Angeles, 1969

As well as bemoaning a lack of progress in its women's wear, US clothing retailer Gap Inc has also criticised its marketing message for being "ineffective" at driving customer visits during the second quarter. Tackling these two areas are now among its priorities the company says.

"We're strong believers, philosophically, of not putting money in marketing just for the sake of doing it. There has to be something to talk about," chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy told analysts on an earnings call.

That "something" is its denim design studio in Los Angeles - which is not only the focus of its autumn campaign but also, according to the retailer, one of its best kept secrets.

Pitched like a reality TV show, the '1969: LA and Beyond' campaign is a series of videos on blogs and social media websites that tell the story of the latest collection from the designers who create the fits, fabrics and washes, the manufacturing process and the people who wear it.

Gap is ultimately hoping shoppers will feel an affinity with the "collective of artists, musicians, action sports junkies and trendsetters," who make up its team.

It's "something that a lot of new customers really gravitate to," Murphy says, adding: "They love how genuine it is, how real it is. You're going to see more of that type of marketing not only from Gap, but from other brands because people are telling us they respond very well to that genre of marketing."

And if all that fails to resonate with shoppers, there's always food to lure them instead. Taco trucks will pitch up in cities across the US to hand out free chow to anyone wearing a Gap label.


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