NEW YORK — Sarah Jessica Parker is doing it her way as the star of Gap’s new fall advertising blitz.
With her distinct personal style, Parker poses playfully in sexy cropped blazers, cardigans with broaches and new ultralow-rise jeans that she customized with ribbons and velvet trim in the campaign entitled “How Do You Wear It?” The multimillion-dollar effort, which begins in print next week, also encompasses television, outdoor, direct-mail, Web and in-store marketing.
“The premise of the whole campaign is expressing individual style, and who better than Sarah Jessica Parker?” said Gary Muto, president of Gap, in an interview. “That was the idea, and it harkens back to what the customer knows us for. It’s an evolution of where we were.”
The strategy, which coincides with Gap’s 35th anniversary, is reminiscent of its successful “Individuals of Style” marketing effort that began in 1988. Those black-and-white ads, featuring celebrities such as Demi Moore, k.d. lang, Mike Myers, Isabella Rossellini and Tina Chow, promoted Gap’s basic clothing, and showed how individuals could personalize it. Gap later moved in a different direction, touting a more uniform look in the late Nineties and urging its customers to conform, with tag lines such as “Everybody in Leather” and “Everybody in Vests.”
“The ‘Everybody in’ [campaign] is not relevant anymore. It wasn’t relevant then,” said Muto, who was working at Banana Republic. “I think people are individuals and are really important and want to express their own sense of style.’’
Muto declined to reveal Gap’s fall 2004 media budget, but the brand spent about $111.7 million in media alone for the second half of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. He would not disclose how much Parker is being paid.
Gap is banking on the “Sex and the City” star, who became a fashion icon playing Carrie Bradshaw in the hit HBO series, to get its customers excited about fall clothes. The show drove business on specific items, such as the Carrie- name necklaces, flower pins and Manolo Blahnik shoes, and made designer brands such as Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo and Blahnik household names.
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