Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Audrey & The Gap - Yay or Nay?

The skinny black pant is back at Gap with the introduction of a new, groundbreaking campaign featuring original film footage of timeless style icon Audrey Hepburn. The campaign, entitled "Keep it Simple," is centered on innovative television spots incorporating a memorable scene of Audrey Hepburn dancing in the classic film Funny Face. Celebrating Gap's re-launch of the perfect black pant, the ads mark Gap's third and final marketing campaign of the fall season.

"Gap has a rich history of integrating memorable choreography and music into our advertising, but we've never done anything quite like this before," said Trey Laird, creative director of Gap. "We wanted to do something really special to re-launch our skinny black pants and thought who better to showcase them than actress Audrey Hepburn -- an iconic woman famous for dressing with sophistication and classic style."

Debuting September 7, Gap's new "Keep It Simple" TV spots juxtapose classic footage of Audrey Hepburn dancing in skinny black pants to the 1980 AC/DC hit song "Back in Black." The ad opens with a scene from Funny Face as Audrey Hepburn dances through a Parisian cafe. It continues as she jumps out of the movie and onto a backdrop resembling the look and feel of an iconic Gap ad. Special effects and graphics help her navigate her way across the screen in a series of energetic dance steps. She then jumps back into Funny Face as the spot concludes with the tagline "It's Back -- The Skinny Black Pant."

"We're thrilled because this is the first time in more than 12 years that a film clip of Audrey Hepburn has been authorized to endorse a commercial product in North America," said Kyle Andrew, vice president of Gap Marketing. "This ad is a true testament to timeless style and we couldn't be more excited to have Audrey Hepburn -- the ultimate style icon -- represented in our campaign."

Gap became known for fabulous "must-have" black pants more than a decade ago -- they flew off shelves and helped millions of women across the country dress with sophistication and style. Gap's reintroduction of the perfect fitting pair of skinny black pants this fall is a celebration of this classic, iconic piece. Named after timeless fashion icon Audrey Hepburn -- "The Audrey Hepburn(TM) Pant" is sleek and simple with modern details that are undeniably cool. It has an updated bi-stretch fabrication, which allows for greater flexibility and movement and helps the pant keep its shape. Gap's new skinny black pants are destined to become a modern day classic.

In addition to black pants, Gap has a long heritage of offering a wide variety of clean, classic and simple styles. And this fall Gap is back with a collection of great fitting, sophisticated pants in a range of lengths and shapes, as well as classic shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters and outerwear. Worn day or night, dressed up or down, these are the simple, iconic pieces that will never go out of style. In Gap stores this fall, the clean collection is featured in a one-stop shopping destination. You'll find a new dedicated space within Gap stores filled with the classic "must-have" items you always need and want.

The "Keep It Simple" television campaign features 30 and 60-second spots that will air in the United States on all major networks, spot markets and cable from September 7 through October 5. The spots will premiere on network television shows including "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC), "CSI" (CBS) and "Studio 60" (NBC). will also feature the new "Keep It Simple" television commercial, as well as exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the ad. Complimenting this outstanding broadcast effort are a series of black-and-white print ads featuring models in clean, simple looks anchored in skinny black pants will run in October issues of major national magazines including Vogue, InStyle and Elle. There will also be outdoor ads in major markets.

Laird+Partners, Gap's creative agency, developed the "Keep It Simple" marketing campaign. The TV spots were developed using visual effects by Method Studios and graphic design and animation by Logan and print ads were photographed by famed fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

In celebration of the launch of the "Keep It Simple" ad campaign, Gap is making a generous contribution to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund. The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund is a non-profit organization created to continue Ms. Hepburn's international appeals on behalf of children around the world.

So give us your comments! Like it? Love it? Hate it?


Carol@Dandelion Vintage said...

Oh No! I was complaining about this in my blog too. I am not a fan of the commercial.
I'm generally not a fan of old film footage of any deceased star being used in commercials. But, if they are going to do it, I think it could have been done much better than this. There is just something very cringe-worthy about the commercial every time I see it.

ambika said...

I really dislike the commercial. A monetary donation does not make up for yet another example of a major corporation taking a classic scene and butchering it. I still haven't gotten over all those crappy Coke commercials.

Fuzzylizzie said...

Okay, I'll disagree. I do like it. I can't watch it without feeling happy, and it makes me want to get up and express myself! I know it's also supposed to make me want to buy a pair of skinny black Gap pants, but that's the purpose of advertising.

And I like the mix of 80s music - totally new and unexpected! And it helps introduce Audrey's work to people who might not otherwise know her. Many comments I've read were of the nature - "She's cool, but who IS she?"!

I know that a lot of people are upset that such a fashion icon was used for a Gap ad. But Audrey was not a snob, and the fact that the ad is for Gap shouldn't matter. Her children did approve this, after all.

And, WOW, she really was good!

k8tykat said...

oh no! it's horrible.

i really think that she would be appalled if she knew that her image was being used to sell a pair of pants at a corporation that uses unfair work practices in third world countries.


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