Modernista! Bows Gap, Avon

In a change of direction from last year’s spring campaign for the Gap, new Modernista! print ads focus on specific clothing styles rather than trying simply to evoke a sea sonal “mood.”

In addition, the agency’s first work for Avon brings back client endorsers Venus and Serena Williams but casts the sibling tennis stars in a more glamorous light than previous efforts.

Both campaigns break in March and April issues of mainstream lifestyle and fashion publications.

The San Francisco-based Gap is placing a heavier emphasis on print and outdoor this spring, unleashing some 50 celebrities in dozens of executions that tout different articles of clothing, such as white shirts, khaki blazers or jeans. The sagging economy, failure to keep up with trends and an array of copycat stores have hurt the Gap. Both the media mix and the tone of the spring campaign represent efforts to try something new in order to spur sales, sources said.

Television has played a key role in Gap advertising in the two years Modernista! has held the business, but neither agency nor client would divulge specific plans for TV in 2002. The client is initially electing to make a bold print statement this spring rather than spread itself thin across several types of media, sources said.

The new campaign is markedly different from the spring print effort Modernista! undertook for the client last year, which featured models wearing pastel-colored polo shirts.

One of the new ads features Anjelica Huston and her husband, Robert Graham, wearing white button-down shirts. The bottom of the ad reads, “The white shirt.” In another ad, French actress Julie Delpy models a khaki blazer. Partial copy reads, “A familiar fabric finds itself in an unfamiliar setting and instantly makes itself at ease.” The ad closes with the legend: “The khaki blazer.”

The Gap spends about $100 million on advertising annually.

The Bos ton shop’s debut work for Avon continues the “Let’s talk” theme, which Avon in troduced as part of an in-house campaign last year. The Modernista! ads are about “re lationships women have with each other” and feature more products than previous campaigns, said client representative Laura Castellano.

One ad, introducing Brilliant Moisture Lipstick, shows the Wil liams sisters applying lipstick in front of a mirror. The headline: “Let’s talk about lips as bold as you are.”