Ad of the Day: Gap

Brand gets real with documentaries about its 1969 denim design team

If you're just the average artsy young consumer, Gap really wants you to buy its jeans.

The clothier is rolling out a major new advertising push that seeks to position Gap as an edgy but accessible purveyor of denim—eschewing the celebrity faces featured in previous campaigns and focusing instead on creative types more in the vein of the everyman. It's a new look for the brand, which shook up its marketing roster earlier this year—bringing in a new agency, Ogilvy & Mather, and new CMO, Seth Farbman—in the wake of last year's spectacularly failed attempt at a logo redesign. The whole of the new spots is a departure from the traditionally crafted, polished look of Gap commercials—aiming to feel less like advertising and more like narrative.

How? A series of more than 30 short "documentaries" attempt to capture the vibe at Gap's denim studio in Los Angeles, home to the fashionable and tattooed design team behind the brand's 1969 line. The videos are still slickly edited and very much on message, mixing the earnest cheerleading of any brand spokesperson with the deliberate authenticity of reality television. Of the various Gap designers and merchants interviewed, most, if not all, at one point or another make use of the word "awesome," and the monologues slip in other such supportive gems as, "It's a lifestyle brand, it has its own energy, its own soul."

Overall, the campaign does offer some neat behind-the-scenes peeks at a creative process that many people take for granted. And the effort, launched on Monday, has already earned a fair amount of press. (Cool Hunting, a popular design and tech blog, which has worked with Gap before, also collaborated on this campaign—lending the brand's story some more credibility.) Gap is also dispatching taco trucks to select cities to treat the Gap-wearing hungry masses (people sporting competitors' threads reportedly have to pay $1.69 per snack) because everybody knows artsy, young consumers love tacos. And if they eat enough, they'll need to buy new pants.

Client: Gap
Campaign: "1969: LA and Beyond"
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Chairman, Ogilvy North America: John Seifert
Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy North America: Steve Simpson
Chief Marketing Officer, Ogilvy North America: Lauren Crampsie
Creative Directors: Michael Paterson, Jason Marks
Copywriters: Sam Mazur, Amy Thomas
Art Directors: Sun An, Sally Kim, Eddie Shieh
Creative Partner: Mutt Industries
Managing Director: Nadja Bellan-White
Account Director: Corey Cirillo
Account Supervisor: Caitlin O'Connell
Account Executive: Carlos Alvarado
Associate: Jessica Phelan
Worldwide Planning Director: Dan Ng
Strategic Planners: Liz Williams, Caroline Washington
Executive Director, Creative Technology: Jordan Berkowitz
Senior Digital Strategist, 360-Degree Digital Influence: Betsy Lowther
Marketing Strategy: Jeffrey Bowman
Director of Production, North America: Patti McConnell
Manager, Art Buying: Cindy Rivet
Executive Producer: Peter Bassett
Senior Content Producer: Elizabeth Lucas
Content Production: Sharon Mendelow, Jessica Fiore, Leslie D'Acri
Executive Director, Print Production: Terri Dannenberg
Head of Traffic: Elizabeth Kearney
Associate Director, Print Production: Bianca Lau
Associate Head of Traffic: Jill Kruskal
Senior Traffic Manager: Marc Scarpelli
Executive Director, Project Management: Kate Kehoe
Digital Producer: Jessica Gueco
Digital Producer, 360-Degree Digital Influence: Veronica Oleynik
Partner: Cool Hunting