Advertising to the Masses: Gap’s Multimedia Approach

When I first read the assignment I immediately knew which brand I would choose – Zara. Most of my closet is made up of their fashionable yet affordable clothing. Unfortunately, when thinking of the brand no traditional media came to mind. I quickly realized why – they notoriously do not use traditional media. They are, of course, a rarity as most of their competitors at all price levels* invest in both traditional media and social media.

So for the purpose of this assignment I have chosen Gap. Though not my absolute favorite clothing brand, I do really like their casual, affordable clothing and I admire their marketing efforts.

Gap logo

Gap is a large, well-known brand  across the globe aiming to appeal to a broad demographic of customers, so it follows that their communication efforts are far-reaching and across many channels. Regarding traditional marketing, Gap invests in print, television, outdoor, OOH, public relations, and direct mail, as well as strategic brick and mortar store placement and store signage. Gap’s most recent ad campaign, “Dress Normal,” was launched Fall 2014. Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Seth Farbman told Buzzfeed that the purpose of the ad campaign is to reinforce “that people come first and that the clothes are there to make you feel like your best self” because “when you’re dressing normal, you’re really your truest and most confident and authentic self.”

The campaign can be seen in outdoor advertising, television advertisements and print. Alongside the campaign, Gap hosted pop up shops on a flatbed truck that visited five US cities.

Gap billboard on L.A.'s Sunset Sunset strip featuring Angelica Houston.

Gap billboard on L.A.’s Sunset Sunset strip featuring Angelica Houston.

Gap Dress Normal TV ad – Fall 2014

To view more Dress Normal television, print and OOH advertisements and to learn more about their production, click here.

“If you look at this core belief that we should inspire people, you can do that every single day in social media, in the actions you take as a company and in the content you deliver.” – Seth Farbman, CMO, Gap

Gap also brings their traditional media campaigns online via social media therefore further utilizing their traditional advertising campaign. They even give their social media followers the first look at their television ads, which in my opinion makes consumers feel closer to the brand.

Gap is very active on social media and is constantly being commended for being trailblazers and for their creative content. They have a presence on all large, well-established social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (you can even shop their Instagram feed via, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and emerging social media platforms like Vine and Secret. They also have a shopping app and an email newsletter, which you can join via Facebook or their homepage. During the holidays, in addition to their everyday ecommerce site, they have a gift guide site to help consumers with their holiday shopping. They also have various regional social media accounts internationally.

Gap also advertises on the social media platforms they are already active on, including but not limited to Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Additionally the brand utilizes fashion bloggers to create ads on their respective fashion blogs.

Though Gap utilizes many social media platforms, their message remains the same across the channels. All Gap social media accounts use the Gap logo as their profile picture and the same cover photo. Below is the current cover photo and logo combination Gap is using on all platforms.




As we learned in the Week 3 lecture, brands want to achieve ubiquity since it takes seven touches for a consumer to consider and finally make a purchase. I believe Gap is great example of executing this properly. The brand has synergy across all traditional media and social media and their presence can be seen in just about every medium.


*Another peculiar characteristic of the Zara brand is that they are able to compete with both bargain brands like H&M and luxury brands like LVMH clothing brands.



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