Copyright 2001 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc. Chicago Sun-Times November 16, 2001 Friday SECTION: FINANCIAL; Pg. 69 LENGTH: 632 words HEADLINE: New Gap spots sing true BYLINE: Lewis Lazare HIGHLIGHT: Campaign has perfect tone, feel for this holiday season BODY: Supertramp's slightly plaintive but sweetly uplifting "Give A Little Bit" is the tune at the heart of the Gap's well-done holiday 2001 television campaign, which breaks nationally on Sunday. The simple but entertaining spots (nine in all), done in-house in partnership with the Boston ad agency Modernista!, have the perfect tone and feel for a holiday retail season certain to be different--and far more difficult--than any in recent times. In keeping with the Gap's current strategy of using well-known faces in its advertising, the retailer's holiday commercials feature an array of familiar musical artists, including Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Shaggy and Dwight Yoakam. Three 30-second spots in the series are ensemble efforts. Each has been edited to show several artists interpreting a part of the "Give A Little Bit" lyric in each singer's distinctive--and often quite touching--style. One of the all-female spots features Sheryl Crow, India.Arie, Lisa Lopes and Liz Phair, while a male grouping is made up of Yoakam, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Robbie Robertson and Shaggy. A third ensemble spot mixes Seal, Morissette and Macy Gray. Another set of six spots features solo performances of bits of "Give A Little Bit." In all the spots, the artists are typically seen performing in a simple shaft of light on a bare wood platform stage, attired in a variety of attractive Gap sweater styles. Each spot ends in a lovely, subdued fashion, with the Gap logo appearing out of a starburst effect and then the tagline "Give Your Gift." Paul Hunter directed all of the work in association with music producer Mike Simpson and HSI Productions. The spots will air on a variety of network prime time programming, including "West Wing," "ER," "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice." A separate print campaign, with the same "Give Your Gift" theme, features a different roster of celebrities. One print ad shows the cast of the hit musical "The Producers," while other print work spotlights actresses Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kate Capshaw, with her daughter Jessica. Christian Witkin and Mario Sorrenti photographed the print executions. To underscore the giving theme in the campaign, the Gap has made charitable donations on behalf of each celebrity featured in the various ads to a charity of their choosing, including women's and children's services and shelters and several Sept. 11-related funds. In addition, Gap and Supertramp donated to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows' and Children's Fund.