Old Navy Hopes to Right the Ship with Crispin

Old Navy, a brand known for its kitschy ads, will look to Crispin Porter + Bogusky to give its brand a boost. The apparel company, which is owned by the Gap, named the Miami-based agency today.

Old Navy made a name for itself not only by offering trendy, inexpensive clothes, but also through its head-scratching, pseudo-retro ads that featured everyone from Morgan Fairchild to Vogue editor Carrie Donovan to the Village People.

In Crispin it has an agency that is known for its off-kilter campaigns, be it the creepy Burger King ads or Jerry Seinfeld showering in his shoes on behalf of Microsoft Vista. The new campaign will “help the brand align more closely with its target consumer: a young mom on a budget shopping for herself and her family,” said an Old Navy rep in a statement.

Old Navy North America’s sales were down 9% in September, per the company. Its sister brands, Gap and Banana Republic, were down 5% and 14%, respectively. In August, Tom Wyatt was named president of the Old Navy division. The 30-year retail veteran had been serving as interim president since February.

The first of the new ads, which will be created with the retailer’s in-house team, will break in March. They will promote the brand’s fun and value-driven aesthetic, per the rep. Old Navy will continue to work with PHD, AKQA, Starcom, JL Media and Carat for media buying.

“We’re confident Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s strong understanding of our target customer, coupled with the agency’s solid record of delivering breakthrough creative campaigns, will help us to engage our customers in exciting new ways so that they can rediscover the fun and value that’s unique to Old Navy,” said the company rep.

Old Navy spent $210 million on U.S. media last year (not including Internet spending) and more than $100 million through July 2008, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.