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Gap was an iconic brand globally but China was a new frontier for the brand where no one grew up with the brand, and no one knew its iconic identity. The fashion retail landscape was already crowded.

The challenge: How do we recreate the spirit of Gap in a way that’s right for China?Most fashion brands are just that: fashion. Gap must stand for more than fashion. The opportunity for Gap is to go back to what made Gap great in the first place: Freedom. For young Chinese, freedom means they have the power to inspire and be inspired by global trends and follow their individual dreams.

Politics divides states: Freedom unites people.The idea is Let’s Gap Together. By pairing people sharing the same passions, from China and the US, we dramatised how the ideal of freedom to pursue your dreams crosses national borders and political divides.


Simply put, it was a huge success story for a brand that was getting much negative press in North America and where the key story was how Gap was closing stores. The China launch exceeded their expectations and firmly established Gap in China in a way that was more in line with Gap when it was at its best decades ago. Within the first months awareness rose to over 55% from a starting point of less than 15% and within the first month there were online orders from every province even though advertising was isolated to Shanghai and Beijing. Sales started out strong and have continued to be very strong, fuelling expansion and growth. As of the end of 2011, Gap had 15 stores in China and Hong Kong and is planning expansion to 40 by the end of 2012.


The campaign was launched in conjunction with the first 4 store openings in Beijing and Shanghai. Gap was being out spent on average 3 to 1 compared to competitors so they chose to focus on highly visible and iconic OOH placements, print, store events and digital. Also part of the campaign was a rich digital environment that included e-commerce, brand education and behind the scenes footage of the campaign shoot with Annie Liebovitz.

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