Ambassador GAP? Is retailer GAP looking to build relations between the East and West with its new “Let’s GAP Together” campaign?
“Let’s GAP Together” features images of photographers, film directors and musicians paired to show how great things happen when creative minds in China and the U.S. join together.
Taiwan-born designer Jolin Tsai puts her dance moves on with Usher, and both are dressed in Gap’s trademark denims.
Another photo shows Chinese actress Zhou Xun sitting with Phillipe Cousteau Jr,, his arm around her waist, both dressed in all-Gap casuals.
They and other East-West pairs have been photographed to generate visual images of a young, bridge-building generation in productive collaborations of work and friendship.
The concept was developed by Young and Rubicam (Y&R) China and the campaign ads were photographed by Annie Leibowitz and Hong Kong photographer, Wing Shya.
The message is specifically about celebrating one another’s uniqueness. At the same time, both East and West wear the global tribal dress of Gap cottons and denims.
The campaign’s talking points are not so much about the freedom of Usher and Cousteau to do their thing as it is about the freedom of China’s so-called “Golden Generation” to do theirs.
Y&R China is flying against the perception of a young China still culturally behind a Great Wall.
To hear Y&R China’s chief creative officer, Nils Andersson describe it, the campaign presents a historical opportunity “to capture the hearts and minds of new Generation China.”
He says the new Golden Generation is freer than ever to choose what they wear, “which is a fundamental expression of new-found freedoms.”
Gap, which is considered a premium brand in China, saw its retail sales in China grow by about 15 percent in 2009—the same year Gap suffered a drop in global revenues.
Late last year, Gap opened stores in Shanghai and Beijing and a Chinese-version web site and e-commerce store. The online foray made obvious strategic sense. Online retail sales in China soared 117 percent in 2009 to $39 billion, according to iResearch, based in Shanghai.
Zhao Ping, a professor at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, said online clothing sales accounted for almost 60 percent of all apparel sales in China.
The current Gap campaign targets consumers in their 20s.
photo credit: gap