What if pop icon Cher and red-hot rapper-producer Future collaborated to lay down a musical cover for a tumultuous time? What song would they choose, and what would it sound like?
Retail clothing chain Gap, for a continuation of its new “Meet Me in the Gap” campaign, ventured to find out the answer, with the result being a harmonized, soulful and catchy version of “Everyday People,” the classic tune from Sly & the Family Stone.
A new 30-second ad, debuting today, will air on high-profile TV programming like NFL games, primetime and late night, marking the first time in several years that Gap has advertised on television in the fall back-to-school period.
The goal was to capture something that “wasn’t overly orchestrated or rehearsed” from the two artists, said Craig Brommers, Gap’s CMO.
Cher and Future, who hadn’t met until they showed up to the Long Beach, Calif., set of the commercial shoot, were inspired by “Everyday People” and riffed on it “to create something that feels like a modern hip-hop trap beat to a well-known pop song,” Brommers said.
The work comes from agency Yard and Director X (Drake’s “Hotline Bling” music video, Rihanna’s “Work”), with an assist from Gap’s in-house marketing team, Brommers said.
It returns Gap to the familiar stark-white, minimalist backdrop meant to focus the eye on the action on screen, with its subjects clothed head to toe in Gap denim, of course. It aims to convey a sense of optimism, which can be in short supply these days, Brommers said.
“We felt like we needed two transcendent figures to drive home the idea,” he said. “In this time of division, the campaign is about bringing people together.”
“Meet Me in the Gap” premiered in July with a handful of seemingly oddball meet-ups, like a trio of basketballers, a couple of tap dancers and a mix artist. They end up with a synchronized musical composition from feet, dribbles and beats called “Bounce meet Bounce meet Bounce.”
Another, dubbed “Dance meet Art,” puts animator/So You Think You Can Dance alum Fik-Shun with artist Gloss Black, and yet another, “Yodel meet Auctioneer, Flute meet Beat” is exactly what it sounds like.
As an umbrella concept, “Meet Me in the Gap” has legs, Brommers said, and the retailer plans to keep using it into the all-important holiday season. Execs haven’t decided if the next incarnations will feature celebrities or regular folks.
The spot with Cher and Future will run for at least six weeks, and the brand plans a substantial digital and social buy, including takeovers of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Gap has aligned with Vogue and Refinery29 for fashion partnerships and with Spotify for a “Meet Me” playlist.