Brands want to create content; they know it’s important. The problem is they don’t know how to do it, and their agencies aren’t really great at it either. That’s why Gap is placing content at the center of its fall campaign, commissioning publishers, musicians and artists to do the content creation.
In February, Gap launched Styld.by, a website created by AKQA. Styld.by is a digital version of a traditional catalog with the twist that editors from fashion sites Refinery 29, WhoWhatWear, Lookbook, Rue and Stereogum give their personal takes on Gap’s latest products. Stylists from each of the sites directed a photo shoot with pop cultural notables wearing an item from the fall Gap product line. Rue, for instance, has pop musician Monica Matocha wearing the Gap boyfriend shirt, which Rue describes as having “classic edge.” Readers can buy the items featured, as well as share them through social networks. Tomorrow, each Styld.by stylist will host in-store events to celebrate the launch of the fall collection. The Styld.by editors will each produce one piece of content per week for four weeks.
Kimberly Terry, senior manager of brand engagement for Gap, noted turning to the fashion sites “authentically reflects each partner’s unique style point-of-view.”
The fashion sites are also running ads directing visitors to Styld.by, placing the content into the actual ad.
Gap is complementing the effort with a content-based social campaign executed by AKQA and Ogilvy. Content includes a YouTube video of Lil’ Buck Jookin, a Facebook how-to tutorial of Kaki King’s guitar tricks, style tips from Nicki Bluhm on Foursquare and a series of quotes from the artists and musicians on Twitter and Facebook. Gap is featuring these up and coming artists in spreads set to run in the September issues of Vogue, Lucky, InStyle, Glamour, GQ, Men’s Health, Rolling Stone and Nylon.
“Every social community has a different purpose for our overall ecosystem,” Terry said. “For example, Pinterest allows us to express our brand through images in ways different from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we publish content accordingly. Every social community is important to us and we’re constantly studying how people interact with our brand throughout the Web.”