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by Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

There is a bit of a dichotomy in Gap’s new ‘Dress Normal’ ad campaign between what they say and what they are showing, leaving us looking for more from one of America’s favorite retailers and curious about their upcoming TV spots.

The campaign, developed in partnership with Wieden + Kennedy New York, has the slogan “Dress Normal” which sounds awfully close to what mothers across America yell as they send their teens back to their closets for re-wardrobing. The Impressionist questions the idea of ‘normal’ as desirable. But then after exploring Gap’s press release finds Seth Farbman, Gap Global Chief Marketing Officer, explaining “Finding your own version of ‘dress normal’ is an art – my normal is different from your normal, and that’s the essence of the campaign.  This fall, Gap celebrates dressing for yourself . . .” And the idea of dressing for yourself does come with an air of empowering confidence worth seeing played out in print and other medium.

In mid-September, Gap will launch an experiential element to the campaign – the Dress Normal Project – which brings to life what dressing normal means through the lens of consumers across North America. Creative influencers, including bloggers, style experts, musicians, photographers, filmmakers and artists will also curate Gap looks and illustrate their version of Dress Normal via Gap’s Styld.by platform.

The print campaign features celebrities being their normal self in everyday settings and includes Anjelica HustonThe Royal Tenenbaums; Elisabeth MossMad MenMichael K. WilliamsBoardwalk EmpireJena MaloneThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire; and Zosia Mamet, Girls.

Between the celebrities and Gap fans, the campaign has multiple legs for storytelling.  And in this case we think the TV ads will go a long way in explaining the campaigns’ essence. As fans of Gap’s heritage in marketing we hope that there is enough volume of media that the ‘art’ of dressing for yourself in ‘Dress Normal’ becomes the mantra for new Gap customers rather than a quip from concerned mothers.

Editor’s Update: Coverage & Review of New Gap TV spot here.