Ad of the Day: David Fincher Brings Darkness and Mystery to Gap’s Fall Campaign

W+K's four black-and-white spots

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.


Client: Gap

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

Music: Drive

Song: "L'amour LaMort"

Artist: Martial Solal

Music: Golf

Song: "Wait A Minute"

Artist: Performed by Eddie Ray; licensed by Bank Robber

Music: Kiss

Song: "Kiss"

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