Copyright 2001 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.   
Chicago Sun-Times 

November 16, 2001 Friday 


LENGTH: 632 words 

HEADLINE: New Gap spots sing true 

BYLINE: Lewis Lazare 


Campaign has perfect tone, feel for this holiday


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

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.