Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Moss, Michael K. Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jena Malone, Luke Grimes, Olivia Thirlby and Bobby Canavale are all clad in black denim in a series of print and online ads currently rolling out as part of Gap’s new fall advertising campaign. Developed in partnership with Wieden + Kennedy New York, it’s dubbed "Dress Normal," and the images are accompanied by taglines such as "dress like no one’s watching," "get caught wearing the same thing" and "let your actions speak louder than your clothes."
While black denim is featured in the first iteration of "Dress Normal," other Gap staples will be showcased as the campaign continues from season to season.
With the new campaign, Gap appears to be embracing its role as go-to brand for the not-really-sure-it's-a-thing normcore movement. "'Dress Normal’ is about dressing for yourself," Seth Farbman, global chief marketing officer for Gap, tells us. "It’s about celebrating the confidence that comes by dressing how you’re most comfortable. Our message is—being your most authentic self is a style that will always endure."
While "Dress Normal" is a new campaign, the underlying message is in line Gap’s fashion philosophy, according to Farbman, who says, "Gap has always been unapologetic about what we stand for—individualism and the liberation that comes from confidently being your most authentic self—and we wanted to create a campaign that brings these values to life in a real and thought-provoking way."
The first batch of ads are currently appearing in Lucky, Elle and Fader. "What we love about the print ads is how they bring unexpected moments and storytelling, which leave unanswered questions," Farbman says. "Why is Michael leaning against that car? What is Zosia thinking about lying on the bed? What is Jena getting ready for? Is Elisabeth on her own or with someone else on the beach?"
As for why these particular celebrities were chosen for the "Dress Normal" effort, Farbman says, "Every single person chosen for the campaign lives life on their own terms, and we love that. They are all people that our customers can identify with and are known for their own art of dressing normal."
Many of them also have a personal connection to the brand. "For instance, Anjelica Huston was in a Gap ad years ago with her husband," Farbman points out.
Beyond print and online executions, Gap is also returning to television with this campaign, though details won’t be released until closer to the launch of the spots in September. "TV is still an important way to reach people," Farbman says.
Social and digital will also be key parts of the campaign. "Social and digital are central to our strategy, and we are investing more deeply than ever before," Farbman says, noting, "We have expanded our popular styld.by program, which invites digital influencers—trendsetters, artist, photographers, musicians—to style Gap clothes in their own unique way and share it to millions of followers through an interactive magazine. We also are fully embracing video online, which is a big part of the future of digital marketing."