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.
“I grew up in New York but I hadn’t really experienced the city in any type of touristy way…This was probably the first museum I really explored and took the time to see,” said @haileybaldwin of the @whitneymuseum. On Tuesday night, Baldwin was joined by Jemima Kirke and more at the annual Whitney Museum Gala and Studio Party, which honored Lorna Simpson, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and Beth Rudin DeWoody. See more photos on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
Displayed starting this week at the @fashiontextilemuseum: An exhibition on designer @orlakiely titled “Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern,” which spans two decades and contains more than 150 pieces. “I want people to come away loving pattern and print. It’s something that makes you feel so good,” said the designer during a preview of the exhibit. Also on show are mood boards, samples, sketches and more. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)