Gap ‘Mixes’ With Celebs

NEW YORK This holiday season, San Francisco-based clothing retailer Gap is inviting shoppers to “Merry Mix It” in an online campaign that features Web videos of unexpected pairings of celebrities performing renditions of holiday classics.

The campaign, via Laird + Partners, New York, showcases the apparel company’s winter collection of brightly colored and patterned pieces that are being marketed as “fun and mixable.” The videos went live on Thursday and feature, among others: Selma Blair singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Rainn Wilson; The Dixie Chicks performing a rendition of “Deck the Halls” with Sandra Bernhard; and Jason Biggs, Romany Malco and Freddy Rodriguez playing “We 3 Kingz” on bells.

“We wanted to be upbeat and optimistic and play off the idea of mixing this season’s clothing of stripes and argyles,” said Ivy Ross, evp/marketing at Gap.  “We want to delight and engage our consumers with the end result of enjoying shopping at the Gap.”

This year’s push is Web-centric — as opposed to last year’s print and outdoor push — to better reach the “sweet spot” of the 28-year-old target, said Ross. “We are still doing our traditional media buy but we really want to be where we believe our consumers are: online. And use it to engage them with the brand,” she said, adding that the brand hasn’t advertised on TV since spring 2007.

In addition to hosting the musical video clips, the holiday site,, allows visitors to create personalized greeting cards using clips of the cast and the “Jingle Bells” remix recorded by Flo Rida and Trey Songz (also performed in an online video).

The site’s “Mix Not Match” feature, which also is available via an iPhone application, enables shoppers to mix clothing combinations and create personalized gift lists. The site and iPhone application — going live next Wednesday — were created by AKQA, San Francisco.

A select group of the Web videos started running in movie theaters today. It is the first time Gap has advertised its products in cinemas. Ross said the company is targeting theaters in malls for the media buy because the goal is to be in “different places.”

“TV used to guarantee a certain attention and rate of success,” said Ross. “It’s not to say we wouldn’t go back to TV, but we want to experiment and play with these other media.”

The campaign initially kicked off with print ads in November magazines that centered on the theme of making clothes “your own,” with fill-in-the-blank taglines written in by the celebrities featured in the ads.