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NEW YORK — Gap is clearly getting excited about the holidays.
On the heels of reporting an 11 percent increase in its monthly comprable-store sales, its first increase since April 2000, the retailer is about to launch a new color-infused TV, print and outdoor holiday campaign that’s directed and photographed by Peter Lindbergh.
“It’s upbeat, happy, joyful and very focused on the product, which is all about stripes and color,” said Trey Laird, president and executive creative director of Laird & Co., the Gap’s ad agency. TV commercials will begin airing in the U.S. on Nov. 21 and will run through Dec. 18 in national and spot markets on major networks and cable in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle. Shows include “Friends,” “Alias,” “Survivor,” and “Dawson’s Creek,” plus select college football games on CBS and ABC. The soundtrack for the spots is “Love Train,” originally recorded by the O’Jays and remixed a capella by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Products will include striped sweaters, scarves and gloves.
The print campaign appears in the December issues of such magazines as Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Jane, Marie Claire and W, in addition to eight-page inserts in Lucky and In Style. BabyGap ads will run in the December issues of In Style, Child, Real Simple, Gourmet and Vogue, in addition to a four-page cover gatefold in Martha Stewart Living. The print ads highlight outerwear, knitwear, activewear and cold weather accessories for women, men, children and babies.
“It’s meant to be very warm and upbeat and to be a continuation of fall with the different people and characters. We kept the generational thing going,” said Laird, noting Ali McGraw, C.Z. Guest, James Coburn, Rachel Roberts and Angela Lindvall and her baby were among those photographed.
Laird declined to reveal Gap’s holiday budget.
“I wanted to make people feel good and the product looks really great. They’re getting more and more on track with the product,” Laird said.
Gap is also coming out with a 25-page gift guide highlighting cable knit and striped sweaters; sherpa duffels and jackets; striped woolen scarves; wool caps, and mittens that will be delivered the week of Nov. 18 with newspapers in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. It will have a coupon offering $10 off a $50 purchase in select markets and 15 percent off $50 purchases in others. A separate GapBody gift guide will be delivered with the Boston Globe on Nov. 21 with a 15 percent off $50 purchase.
The outdoor campaign includes walls and billboards in six major markets, as well as bus sides in nine major markets and bus shelters in New York and San Francisco. The ad plan also calls for TV, print and outdoor advertising in Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom, and print and outdoor advertising in France and Germany.
New this year is Mystery GiftCards, which will be included with the Holiday Gift Guide direct mail piece. They are worth between $5 and $100 each and customers take the cards to the stores to find out their value.