Mary Alderete is a “boomerang” having first worked at Gap on the Banana Republic brand in 2001 and came back after working with other major retail brands like Levi’s, TrueReligion, and ModCloth a few years ago. Earlier this year, she transitioned from Banana Republic to Gap with trusted, creative partner-in-crime, Len Peltier, who she first worked with at Levi’s about a decade ago.
Together, along with Mark Breitbard, President and CEO of Gap, they revisited the brand’s roots founded on the principles of togetherness and equality set forth in 1969 by Donald and Doris Fisher during another time of great social unrest. As they set out to plan this year’s major campaign plans, they continued developing their now 100% in-house creative agency in order to stay hands-on across all elements of Gap marketing given the critical importance of connecting creative across the funnel to brand purpose.
Little did they know, coming into 2020, their plans were going to become that much more relevant as their message of togetherness and equality became the call to action throughout the year. The agility and speed they now also had in-house allowed them to shape and pivot in real-time, leveraging their core message further in unexpected moments.
“Just stay curious and don't be afraid to be spontaneous because that's really where true creativity comes. Our spot that we aired on the NBA and the NFL with Little Buck and Myles Yachts, was a spontaneous thing we did at the end of our holiday shoot. They just couldn't stop moving and we just said ‘everybody down to your hoodies, let's have a dance-off’ and they dropped the song 'Too Fast' [by Sonder]. In one take—five minutes and 12 seconds—spontaneous, not choreographed freestyle dancing, freestyle camera moves…That piece of work is potentially the biggest golden nugget the whole second half. And it happened in five minutes and 12 seconds at the end of a shoot.”
Throughout the year, Gap has produced three major campaigns that were planned months before their time, ‘Be the Future’ (a GapKids campaign featuring youth activists), ‘Stand United’ (a tribute to individuals united by humanity for equality), and an early launch of their holiday campaign titled ‘Dream the Future,” a celebration of modern American optimism. To further their holiday efforts this year, Gap has kicked off a social media dance challenge to encourage communities to share hope and give back. For every dance challenge video submitted, Gap will donate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, up to $50,000.
Tune in to hear more about how Mary built an in-house power team ready to pivot across the funnel for the sake of agility and authenticity. Discover her tips on how to really provide fuel and space to enable her team to be at their creative best. Dive deep into how brands like Gap can and should be anchored at their core around Sustainability, not just planet and products, but people and purpose.