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Posts Tagged ‘GAP’

GAP Scores Presidential Visit Over Minimum Wage Bump

Only time will tell whether GAP’s February 20 decision to voluntarily raise its minimum wage was, in the end, a good move on the reputation and CSR fronts, a way to tell investors that the company is thinking five steps ahead, or a well-meaning but ultimately insignificant gesture.

For what it’s worth, the move did inspire a visit today from President Obama, who happened to be in the city to do the one thing all incumbent politicians do well: raise money.

Of course, the fact that the President stopped into a clothing store in midtown Manhattan (but NOT to buy a pair of those famously geeky khakis) is the very furthest thing from “real news”. The reason he chose this particular store, however, is worth noting from a corporate comms perspective.

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More Brands Using Instagram Messaging for Promos

Back when Instagram‘s direct messaging feature launched in December, we wondered how brands might use it before GAP swooped in to provide us with the first example.

This week Aquafina showed us another way by using DM to message fans and spread awareness of its new “Flavor Splash” product with the help of a celebrity partner.

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Is this a trend in the making, or what?

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GAP Creates First Instagram Direct Message Promo

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Today we wondered whether Instagram‘s new “direct messaging” feature would be a valuable promo tool for brands, and we’re all about to find out. Here, via GAP, is what looks a whole lot like the first related contest.

Seems the first 15 followers to comment on the What I Wore Today post won a denim GAP tablet case. The number comes from the service itself, which allows users to send “private” images to as many as 15 others at once.

GAP denies creating the campaign explicitly to win press attention, but come on.

We expect related contests to quickly grow much more elaborate.

(H/T Fashionista)

GAP Nips Racist Graffiti Problem in the Bud

Here’s a good example of a brand that’s on point on social.

A couple of straight-up racists tagged this GAP ad featuring a Sikh Indian actor in a New York subway station, changing the line “Make Love” to “Make Bombs” and adding “Stop driving cabs” just to be extra dickish.

Lawyer and writer Arsalan Ifthikar saw it, photographed it and encouraged his 36,000 followers to share it; the image quickly went viral.

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Less than 24 hours later, the GAP responded on Twitter:

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Labor Groups Question The Impact The Latest Bangladeshi Safety Pact Will Have

Under pressure to take action to improve the safety conditions at Bangladeshi factories that make their goods, 17 American retailers including Walmart, Target, and Gap have signed on to the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. However, the plan is already coming under fire from labor and human rights groups who say that the failure to include a third party monitoring system or any labor representation makes the plan, essentially, a “sham.”

The discussion over factory safety continues months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 people in Dhaka. A fire in another factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people in November. In both cases, workers were making garments intended for sale by some of the biggest retail companies in the world. Walmart and Sears claim they didn’t know their goods were being made at Rana Plaza. Read more

Banana Republic Cozies up to Match.com for In-Store Mixers

Mad Men AMC Yesterday we told you about the Banana Republic/AMC cross-promotion likely to have Mad Men fans dressing like the Drapers come spring.

But it now appears that the retailer’s relationship with AMC is not exclusive–as anyone at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will tell you, it often pays to have a little something going “on the side.”

Just in time for Valentines Day, Banana Republic’s global spring campaign centers on a single concept — love. Aww.

In order to get customers in the mood, the retailer will kick off its amorous rollout by hosting in-store mixers co-sponsored by Match.com. These after-hours soirees, hosted in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, will be open to members of Match.com’s Stir events program, who can mingle with fellow cardigan-wearing singles while sipping cocktails and enjoying discounts on merchandise.

Oh, and fear not for the lonely hearts who will leave these gatherings alone; every attendee will receive a free Billy Joel CD to keep them warm on the long, cold winter nights. (Ed. note: We now assume that these events are open only to the 50-and-over set.)

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Banana Republic and Mad Men: A Match Made in Mod Heaven

Banana Republic Mad MenSpring is almost here (we swear!), and this year the season of love and renewal marks the return of both Mad Men (for its sixth season) and Banana Republic‘s Mad Men-inspired clothing line (for its third).

AMC first partnered with parent company GAP for this cross-promotion in 2011 for a collection of contemporary clothing inspired by the Camelot era of the 1960′s. Fans of the AMC hit show could finally get their hands on tangible items to help them emulate Joan, Betty, Don, and Roger. The man in charge of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce could not have planned it better.

Consumer demand for the line has been strong, helping to boost Banana Republic’s North American same-store sales (which rose 5 percent in the three months ending April 28, 2012 with the new collection’s help, marking the brand’s biggest bounce in two years).

This year, fans will notice the show’s move toward the mod vibe of the late 60′s reflected in the clothing collection, designed collaboratively by Banana Republic and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant. No more pastels and country-club couture — the times, they are a’changin!

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Election 2012: A Win for LGBT PR Firms?

Wherever you may stand on gay marriage and other issues facing the LBGT community, we think you’ll agree that this week’s election was a big win for the gay rights movement; the country at large appears to be moving toward a new era in LGBT relations. But do these results reflect a future in which the public will be more receptive to gay-themed PR campaigns?

Election 2012 included several significant gay rights gains: Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay American Senator, California’s Mark Takano became the first openly gay person of color to serve in congress, Iowa voters chose to retain the judge who cast the deciding vote in approving gay marriage and, most importantly, voters in four states chose to either legalize gay marriage or reject constitutional amendments forbidding it.

It was a proud, hard-earned moment for millions of gay Americans–but how will it affect the LGBT PR industry and related campaigns?

Quite a few existing firms explicitly cater to gay audiences–and we’ve witnessed an increase in the use of obviously gay figures in advertising and PR campaigns. Here, for example, is a recent groundbreaking ad created by Brand USA to promote United States tourism to overseas audiences that features a gay couple:

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More Poorly Executed Hurricane Sandy PR

Add Gap to the list of brands criticized for releasing Sandy-themed marketing messages during the storm. First there was American Apparel‘s “Sandy Sale“; then there was the Urban Outfitters email blast reading: “This storm blows (but you know what doesn’t?)” Yeah, that would be free shipping on all orders.

On Monday, Gap’s official Twitter feed earned negative feedback (and a full Mashable post) for trying to do the impossible: making statements of support for hurricane victims while simultaneously performing its primary purpose and promoting the Gap brand. Here’s the offending message:

OK, is this message insensitive? It could be seen that way, considering the fact that many who live in the affected area are currently without power and others suffered damage to their homes during the storm. Is it dumb? Certainly, because we can’t imagine too many people counting the hurricane lockdown period as a perfect time to buy chinos online. Was it “on brand”? Absolutely. Again, the purpose of the feed is, above all else, to promote the Gap.

Should we be offended by it? Come on.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Active living brand prAna, known for its functional designs and progressive style, has selected Haberman of Minneapolis as its AOR in a competitive review. Haberman will handle public relations, social media and event management for the company as well as long-term marketing planning for prAna’s first Twin Cities location.

The new Minnesota store, slated to open in early November 2012 at 50th and France in Edina, joins five other retail prAna locations in Denver, Boulder, Santa Barbara, Portland and San Francisco.

Gap brand has eschewed established global agencies like stalwart Ogilvy for a host of agencies available on an as-needed basis. The shops including Peterson Milla Hooks and AKQA. PMH, a Minneapolis-based shop, has worked with Target, Kmart and JC Penney. Yet Gap and Ogilvy still maintain a relationship.

Gap spokeswoman Edie Kissko said,”Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide helped us tremendously over the last year in establishing the Gap brand ‘Be Bright’ platform, which we launched with our spring campaign… Ogilvy also created our fall ‘Icon Redefined’ campaign.”

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