Content brand of the week: Gap, the brand with a quirky take on Christmas cheer

As in ‘Mind the…’?

No, as in one of the world’s biggest casual clothing retailers. Gap is bringing a fresh approach to content by, seemingly, trying to be as weird as humanly possible. In the run up to Christmas, as other big brands and department stores are churning out their usual schmaltzy, saccharine TV ad fare, Gap has gone for a different tack. For starters, here’s a series of video shorts, all directed by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola no-less. The director, who won her Oscar for Lost in Translation, is the undisputed queen of quirky in Hollywood and she brings that style to bear on these mini-ads.

I’m not sure I get it.

We think that might be the point. The content’s message is that sometimes people in families can be very different, but that a Gap gift is always going to fill their little hearts with joy. Make sure to watch all four vids too, as they make much more sense as a whole.

So they’ve hired an off-beat director to produce some top-level brand assets, we’ve seen that before. What else?

Well what’s really gratifying to see is how this unusual perspective is carried through the whole of Gap’s content. The intro to the brand’s Christmas gift guide, which lives at its own globally accessible URL, is frankly a little baffling. First you have to watch a downright bizarre video of somebody called Blood Orange singing into a broom handle while stood on a stool. Then the site insists you turn on your webcam and put on something stripey before unlocking any further content.

This is one demanding website!

Demanding maybe, but it’s also immersive and fun. Once you complete (or skip) the intro process, you’ll actually get to the collection. Which, aside from featuring adorable little onesies for the pint-sized person in your life, is peppered with yet more quirky video content. This hypnotic video sits alongside the product tiles with no contextualising copy whatsoever.

Must keep watching…

If you can draw your eyes away from the mesmerising site of leggings on a treadmill or pyjamas doing the hula hoop then there’s the products themselves. The brand is so confident in the quality of its collection that it doesn’t feel the need to overload its consumer with detail. Just a pithy one or two-line description on the item in question.

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If the reader is hooked by the witty descriptions then they can click through to a page on their local e-commerce site and purchase the heck out of that gift. It’s a great way of producing one great content site and having it serve the whole world. Rather than having marketing teams in every region putting out their own, sometimes off-brand, campaigns.

And not an anthropomorphised penguin in sight!

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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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