American Apparel, a clothing company, has many competitors and risks within the industry. The company has a lot of controversy surrounding some of its advertising techniques. Issues with American Apparel advertising include risky poses, revealing clothing, and models that appear to be unhealthy or underage. One competitor in the industry, Gap, has several successful examples of advertising campaigns that can be used as examples for the direction American Apparel should go for productive advertising.
The first advertisement from Gap displays a woman in jeans with the text, “Born to Fit” above (Griner, 2009). This advertisement includes a neutral color palette that does not draw too much attention and is gender neutral as well. The advertisement appeals to a target audience of both men and women by advertising a product that can be purchased by both. While the model is wearing semi-revealing clothing, the position of the pose does not create controversy or concern. Unlike advertisements by American Apparel, the model clearly looks over 18 and does not have too revealing of clothing on.
Image from: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/gap_red
The above advertisement applies many marketing techniques that are likely to draw a positive reaction. The model used appears to look natural, with obvious freckles and a unique trait of red hair. This makes the model more realistic and relates to the target market. The message “Be Bright” is displayed across the image (Proof Films, 2012). This promotes self value and standing out from the crowd in a positive way. The ideal target market for this product is millennial generation females. With back to school shopping nearing, having an advertisement that draws attention and reaches the target audience by relating to the viewer is important to a successful campaign.
This advertisement has received praise from many customers. The advertisement shows children wearing Gap products, but also embraces a child with a disability. The girl in the second row is in a wheelchair. Using this approach is marketing reaches the target audience of parents and also gains the attention of customers nationwide due to the uniqueness of the advertisement. Rather than focus on sexual appeal or negativity, the advertisement shows support for children of all types. The advertisement promotes, “inclusion for everyone” (Bologna, 2014).
Image from: http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/02/21/elyria-boys-face-graces-gap-ad/
The above advertisement shows the use of a minority by Gap. This promotes diversity and appeals to all ages. Parents, young children, and older children can all be reached from the scope of this advertisement. It displays realistic clothing and shows the brand is not secluded to a specific demographic or age group. The child used in this advertisement was 7, expressing the open mindedness and creativity of Gap in their marketing campaigns (Linebrink, 2015).
The final advertisement demonstrates Gap’s concept of “dressing normal” (Silva, 2014). The brand decided to promote confidence and authenticity of customers through their average appearance. Advertisements were created to make customers feel proud of dressing in Gap clothing in a normal manner, rather than having impostor syndrome with their clothes.
Overall, Gap has demonstrated effective advertising that appeals to a variety of target audiences. Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty derive from their positive marketing strategy and response to customer’s needs. Being unique while not controversial or offensive has helped Gap remain successful.
Bologna, C. (2014, October 16). The Inclusive Gap Ad That Has Everyone Cheering. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/gap-ad-includes-a-child-with-wheelchair-_n_5998568.html
Griner, D. (2009, August 14). Gap’s new ads seem very American Apparel. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/gaps-new-ads-seem-very-american-apparel-13787
Linebrink, M. (2015, February 21). Elyria boy’s face graces GAP ad. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/02/21/elyria-boys-face-graces-gap-ad/
Proof Films. (2012, February 1). GAP: Red. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/gap_red
Silva, T. (2014, September 9). The Gap’s Strange New Ad Campaign. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-silva/the-gaps-strange-new-ad-campaign_b_5786990.html