Old Navy Crowdsources Back-To-School Spot

In the latest spin on its "Written By The Internet" campaign, Old Navy's best-dressed kids are dancing off the school bus, rapping to crowdsourced rhymes.

The retailer first launched the campaign back in March. Working with the Martin Agency, it takes the best suggestions from social media, floating user comments throughout the spot.

In this go-round, a middle-school choir belts out the ad, set to the tune of "Back With My Bestie" by pop artist All Talk.

The spot lands in an awkward back-to-school season for Old Navy.

A bold move to ramp up size inclusivity last year backfired, resulted in sinking sales and an inventory train wreck.

In April, Gap announced Old Navy CEO Nancy Green was leaving after just two years.



In May, it posted an overall quarterly sales decline of 13% to $3.5 billion. At Old Navy, revenues tumbled 19% to $1.8 billion, with comparable sales dropping 22%.

Then last month, Gap said Sonia Syngal, president and CEO of the parent company, was out. She’s been replaced on an interim basis by Bob Martin, executive chairman of the board. And Wall Street is less than enthusiastic, with only a few analysts recommending the stock.

To some degree, the retailer has been negatively impacted by economic factors. Many families are rethinking apparel spending, with household budgets pressured by inflation and high fuel prices. That’s especially true for Old Navy, which focuses on lower-priced clothes.

A spokesperson tells Marketing Daily that Old Navy introduced "Price ON-Lock" this season. That commitment locks prices on the brand's everyday kids’ essentials, despite inflationary market pressures. And it runs through the end of September.

Like other retailers, Old Navy is noting that back-to-school shopping lasts longer than it used to.

"We plan for a back-to-school season that goes well beyond the first day," the spokesperson says. "Once kids begin classes and see what's trending with their peers, they tend to return for a second wave of shopping."

Another change is the introduction of what it's calling a YOU-niform: alternative styles along with the classic polo and pants combo that dominate the category.

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