A top Gap marketing executive said the company made a renewed push into out-of-home (OOH) advertising in 2012, partly to increase business in top
markets and reach more millennials.
One aim was to place ads close to stores, said Chris Gayton, senior director, marketing and brand management at Gap.
Examples included an initiative in a Boston station across the street from a high volume store and wallboards in a San Francisco depot, where there is a store right above ground.
There was also an effort to promote a line of activewear by surrounding New York’s Central Park with ads on phone kiosks and a heavy trafficked beach in Los Angeles and a billboard on the Sunset Strip across from the celebrity-heavy Chateau Marmont hotel. “So I know I reach Lindsay Lohan,” Gayton joked during his appearance at an Advertising Club of New York OOH event Wednesday.
Soon, Gap will be launching an in-cinema spot offering a chance for moviegoers to interact via texting for a special offer. Gayton said it has been a long road to get in-cinema advertising companies to allow that, since theaters want to discourage mobile-phone use during films. The ads can now run until the pre-show trailers start.
Gap’s most well-publicized OOH move this year was placing a “Be Bright NYC” message on the front of New York MetroCards in October, making it the first marketer to have a presence on the front of the cards. The stunt was part of an effort to plug the 34th Street store in Manhattan. The cards were available in 10 stations, which were either close to the store or had some of the highest MetroCard sales in New York.
The New York Times covered the advertising, as did local TV in New York. “That paid for itself very easily,” Gayton said -- with the publicity Gap received. A lift for the 34th Street store was a bonus.
Gayton said Gap had wanted to use a “Mind the Gap” message on the cards -- a reference to the incessant message seen with the London Underground. However, he New York MTA thought that might be an inappropriate spoof on safety.