The art of the product ad has been practiced since the early days of advertising. As the decades have passed, the need to show your product or service’s superiority over others has not waned. What has changed is that simple attribute or performance superiority is short-lived. As such, product ads today need to both show the functional but also give consumers a desire to be “associated” with the Brand. This balance is difficult.
The Gap has a rich history of creating product ads that are laced with powerful creativity and personality that they become part of cultural dialogue. In the past they leaned heavily into music and pop-culture to wrap their product with pizzazz. Their advertising acumen has been weak over the past years. However, a recent series of films done by Wieden + Kennedy suggests that they are on a bounce back.
The Brand’s personality has clearly changed from those years where it was intricately associated with music and pop-culture. The recent work suggests a more quirky and geeky personality. With so many fashion brands leaning into music, a move towards something less expected makes sense. It will be interesting to see what work they roll out next.