For years, Gap's ads—and its clothes—were all about bubbly, drenching color. But this fall, it's time for a new look in both, as the brand has brought in David Fincher to drain the color, quite literally, from the TV work—and tell enigmatic stories in artful, cinematic black-and-white instead.
Four spots below, created by Wieden + Kennedy in New York as part of the new "Dress Normal" campaign, were released online Thursday (fittingly, perhaps, given their throwback vibe). The story lines are brief and somewhat inscrutable snapshots of guys and girls pursuing each other—with off-kilter payoff lines like "Dress like no one's watching," "Simple clothes for you to complicate" and "The uniform of rebellion and conformity."
The black-and-white style evokes film noir, though the vibe is lighter than that—and the lack of color (except for the Gap logo at the end of the spots, presented in various hues) ties directly into a product Gap is pushing hard this season: black denim.
"We want these films to get people talking," says Seth Farbman, Gap's global chief marketing officer. "Each one features a confident woman at the center and tells a story of how liberating it is when you are being your most authentic self. We believe everyone who watches them will identify with one or more of the characters.
"We were thrilled to work with David Fincher, one of the greats of modern American cinema and a superb storyteller. His highly detailed and authentic style resonates with the Gap brand and these films truly bring to life what our 'Dress Normal' message means."
What the line means is certainly up for debate, as we mentioned in covering the print component of the campaign. (It appears to be Gap's take on normcore, which it seems to want to half-embrace and half-reject.) But it's definitely a provocation.
And for a company long addicted to celebrity talent on camera, putting this particular celebrity director behind it certainly shifts the brand in an interesting direction. By moving into the shadows, perhaps Gap can actually emerge from them.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, David Kolbusz
Creative Directors: Stuart Jennings, Susan Hoffman
Copywriter: Sheena Brady
Art Director: Kim Haxton
Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
Executive Producer: Alison Hill
Producer: Lisa Delonay
Brand Strategists: Erik Hanson, Hayley Parker
Account Team: Tamera Geddes, Dipal Shah, Patty Ehinger
Business Affairs: Lisa Quintela
Production Company: Reset
Director: David Fincher
Executive Producer, Chief Operating Officer: Dave Morrison
Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
Line Producer: Laura Miller
Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth
Production Designer: Don Burt
Costume Designer: Trish Summerville
Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Post Producer: Sari Resnick
Post Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
Editorial Assistants: Nate Gross, Mike Horan, Billy Peake
Visual Effects Company: Mill
Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Producer: Dan Roberts
Coordinator: Jillian Lynes
New York Producer: Clairellen Wallin
2-D Lead Artists: Tim Davies, James Allen
2-D Artists: Robert Murdock, Tara Demarco, Timothy Crabtree, Jale Parsons, Brandon Danowski, Jamin Clutcher
Telecine Company: Light Iron
Colorist: Ian Vertovec
Mix Company: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Tom Jucarone
Sound Designer: Tom Jucarone
Producer: Vicky Ferraro
Song: "L'amour LaMort"
Artist: Martial Solal
Song: "Wait A Minute"
Artist: Performed by Eddie Ray; licensed by Bank Robber
Artist: David Holmes
Song: "Inner Babylon"
Artist: Written by Shabaka Hutchings; performed by Sons of Kemet