The American multinational clothing retailer Gap has released the holiday extension of its “Back to Blue” campaign launched earlier this fall. The holiday campaign called “Make Love” showcases the things that matter most in life — genuine love, respect, and compassion.
The U.S. campaign starring cultural icons from around the world includes print ads, mail, social media and television ads. New digital content is also unveiled regularly on the brand’s YouTube account.
“Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love,” -Seth Farbman, Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer.
Gap has collaborated with celebrities who have been sharing true love with their field of work and their social lives. The famous personalities modeled Gap’s 2013 holiday collection in the ads, adding a personalized touch to the garments. All stills starring celebrities such as Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Waris Ahluwalia, Malin Akerman, along with other personalities and famous models can be found on the official Pinterest page of the brand.
On November 24th, a tweet by Arsalan Iftikhar (@TheMuslimGuy) was sent along with a shot of a vandalized “Make Love” print ad. Gap’s still of Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia and model and film-maker Quentin Jones located in New York City had been marked with very racist comments. The campaign’s tagline had the word “Love” crossed out and replaced with “Bombs,” and “Please stop driving taxis,” scribbled a little lower.
(via Twitter, @TheMuslimGuy)
The ad had been received so well, encouraging and promoting interracial love and diversity in America. Several tweets and articles rooted for Gap’s campaign and what it stood for.
Due to this appreciation for the campaign, the vandalism was quickly reported on Twitter. This gave Gap an opportunity to excel in public relations reaction skills and problem solving.
The very next day, Gap proudly changed their Twitter account’s header to the Ahluwalia-Jones still, and professionally responded to the tweet asking for more information from the sender, Iftikhar, so that the ad could be taken down and replaced.
“@TheMuslimGuy Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM us? We’d like to know the location of this.” – @Gap
Upon its re-installment on November 28th (four days after the original vandalized poster was tweeted) the new ad was trending all over the Internet.
The “Make Love” campaign’s poster of musician Malcolm Ford and actor Max Snow has also been vandalized with hate speech in Chicago. The poster was defaced with homophobic comments and was also quickly made public on Twitter by JK Trudell (@jktrudell), and Gap replied shortly thereafter.
Considering the fact that the hate speech on these ads dealt with touchy issues like race and homosexuality, the brand reacted quickly and effectively. Gap’s public efforts to fix these vandalized ads are impressive and well worth the buzz they have generated.
What do you think of Gap’s “Make Love” campaign and of their efforts in restoring the campaign’s image and message?