NEW YORK — Gap Inc. is boosting its fourth quarter ad budget by approximately 30 percent over year-ago levels, to an estimated $151 million, and appears bent on bridging a divide commonly faced by fashion consumers: the disconnect between a...
NEW YORK — Gap Inc. is boosting its fourth quarter ad budget by approximately 30 percent over year-ago levels, to an estimated $151 million, and appears bent on bridging a divide commonly faced by fashion consumers: the disconnect between a brand’s advertising, merchandise and selling environment.
That’s the word from Richard Jaffe, a specialty retail analyst who follows Gap for UBS Warburg’s Global Equity Research unit. A Gap spokeswoman declined to confirm those figures, citing company policy. She did say, "We backed up a lot of our ad spending for the fourth quarter, so that’s the right way to think about it."
Gap Inc.’s full-year ad spending is expected to reach $513 million, or 21 percent more than the $423 million it spent in 2001, based on company data and UBS estimates. Gap’s fourth quarter ad budget of $151 million represents 29 percent of its estimated ad spending this year and compares with the $116 million, or 27 percent share, it spent a year earlier. Gap’s ad expenditures both this year and last peaked in the third quarter, at $167 million and $128 million, respectively. In the first quarter of 2002, by contrast, Gap’s spending on ads contracted 28 percent to $78 million, or 15 percent of the ad budget, from $109 million, or 26 percent, in the prior-year period.
Gap’s strong increase in fourth-quarter ad spending, combined with merchandising more tightly linked with its marketing effort, is likely to accelerate Gap’s improving performance, Jaffe projected. The analyst noted an increase of 30 percent in Gap’s third quarter ad budget was instrumental in driving sales during the period at the company’s Gap and Banana Republic stores. Comparable-store sales at Gap stores were off 2 percent for the quarter ended Nov. 2, versus a year ago, but climbed 11 percent in October and 6 percent in November. Comps at BR rose 1 percent in the third quarter and added 3 percent last month.
In addition, the tone of the company’s holiday campaign, along with the consumer marketing background of Gap’s recently arrived chief executive officer, Paul Pressler, has Jaffe, for one, anticipating that more aggressive and fully integrated marketing efforts will be developed by Gap. "I expect Pressler is going to more tightly link the ads, store experience, and product," Jaffe said of a strategy that appears straightforward, but is seldom optimized by fashion brands.For example, Gap’s holiday TV spots for its flagship chain, which began airing Nov. 21, are consistent with the chain’s emphasis on brightly colored sweaters and striped scarfs. Models wearing those items in the commercials dance and swirl to a spirited version of the 1973 O’Jays hit "Love Train," imparting a sense of holiday cheer. Another instance of weaving together ads, product and shopping environment emerged Tuesday on the streets of New York, in an Old Navy taxi cab campaign. Ad toppers on 400 of the city’s yellow cabs proclaim "Fleece out…climb in!" and the taxi’s seats are adorned with bright red fleece fabric. The cab campaign, slated to run through Dec. 17, complements Old Navy’s "Family Fleece" TV spots, which bowed on Nov. 14, and two circulars, featuring fleece and colorful sweaters, scheduled to be distributed this month.
In a research report published Tuesday, Jaffe applauded the hire of Leo Burnett USA as a strategic branding partner for the Gap and Banana Republic Brands, as reported, in part, because it will enable Pressler to leverage the experience he had working with Burnett, while he was at the Walt Disney Co.
"Pressler knows them [Burnett] well," Jaffe said. The Burnett deal also marks the first time Gap has enlisted an agency of that size in its marketing effort.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)