Ad of the Day: A Girl Faces Her Monstrous Fears in Old Navy’s Back-to-School Musical

CAA's four-minute video is odd yet infectious

Old Navy has become famous for its quirky TV spots over the years. But the apparel retailer is branching out for this year's back-to-school season with an ambitious four-minute music video titled "Unlimited."

The spot, created by CAA Marketing and featuring a catchy-in-a-Broadway-sort-of-way tune written by Tony-nominated songwriters Benji Pasek and Justin Paul, follows a teen girl (played by 14-year-old Isabella Balbi) as she embarks on her first day of school while singing about the hopes and doubts every kid faces at the start of the academic year.

This being an Old Navy ad, "Unlimited" has moments you'd have to consider odd—most of which center around the "Womp Womp," a giant, furry, bizarre-looking and sort of terrifying creature that's meant to personify the girl's inner fears.

We first meet the Womp Womp when the girl opens her locker and is yanked into the darkness within by the monster, who warns her that no one is going to like her.

He continues to pop up and dampen the mood every time the girl becomes hopeful about her future. When she imagines herself as a famous inventor, the Womp Womp tells her, "Awards are nice, but they don't pay the bills." When she dreams of becoming an athlete, he cautions, "Let's just hope you don't tear your ACL."

By the end of the song, the girl manages to get the best of her inner Womp Womp and leaves him behind as she drives away on the school bus with a new friend who also happens to know all the words to "Unlimited."

(On the subject of weird things, it also bears mentioning that "Unlimited" involves a singing plate of cafeteria food. As in, the googly-eyed Claymation food starts singing. Even the girl looks a little freaked out.)

Considering tweens' love of heartfelt musical numbers (how many times have you been forced to listen to "Let It Go" in the past year?) and the cameos from various AwesomenessTV stars, "Unlimited" should be pretty appealing to its target audience. (In fact, it's racked up almost 3.5 million YouTube views in a week.) And if your household tween does beg you to download the song on iTunes, at least you'll feel better knowing that part of the proceeds go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

CREDITS

Client: Old Navy

Agency: CAA Marketing

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks

Director: Matt Dilmore

Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Executive Producer: Colleen O’Donnell

Head of Production: Rachel Glaub

Producer: Jonathan Wang

Production Supervisor: Mercedes Allen-Sarria

Director of Photography: Alexis Zabe

Production Designer: Josh Locy

Editing: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Carlos Arias

Producer: Leah Carnahan

Executive Producers: Dave Sellars, Angela Dorian

Effects: a52

Colorist: Paul Yacono

Flame Artist: Matt Sousa

Animator: Michael Relth

Producer: Jamie McBriety

Executive Producer: Megan Meloth