#SayHi to Jamie Gersch
by Dylan DeSimone, Gap Inc. blogger
Old Navy’s newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Gersch wants to make fun a fashion statement. A veteran of the fashion industry, and previously with Gap Inc. for a 14-year stretch, she rejoins the company with a mission to further democratize the inclusive brand. The new marketing campaign, ‘Hi, Fashion,’ is an invitation to break the rules – both life’s rules and fashion’s rules – and look good while doing it.
Old Navy’s DNA has always been about the democracy of fashion expressed through an irreverent wink. Jamie wants to infuse that playful personality back into the brand with a series of TV spots, fresh photography and a social campaign (look out for #SayHi).
In the latest television ad, a group of women having a lovely brunch at a sidewalk café suddenly peel away from table on skateboards and tear up the streets. We caught up with Jamie to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the dynamic broadcast spot.
Can you take us through the step-by-step process of conceptualizing this ad campaign?
The Hi, Fashion campaign is about breaking convention, so we didn’t want to do a typical spring dresses campaign tied to Easter. We worked through concepts with both our internal and agency partners to create a scenario that celebrated the season and the product in a completely fresh way. We love the juxtaposition between the demure brunch with porcelain china and the rebellious energy of the skateboarding. It feels intrinsically ‘Hi, Fashion’ and unconventional, but also shows how our dresses fit both occasions.
How did you discover the moms and daughters in the “Hi, Rollers” spot?
All the women featured in the spot are professional skateboards. It’s a niche group with a great sense of sisterhood. When we were researching some of the talent, we saw on Instagram that our main star had a 3.5 year-old daughter. We asked if she could participate as well!
What’s the message of this most recent spot? Is there anything specific about the dresses you shoppers to know?
The spot highlights the versatility of the dresses. We wanted to showcase the strong range of floral prints as well as the silhouette options (off-the-shoulder, spaghetti strap, etc). There’s something for everyone.
Any interesting factoids about the matching helmets and skateboards?
They are made from our floral dress patterns!
Any unique, behind-the-scenes stories about the shoot that you can share?
We wanted to capture the product flowing with the skating movements and had to get creative on vantage points. We had a series of drone cameras shooting from overhead, and we hired a professional rollerblader as one of the cameraman. He actually skated alongside the women with a camera strapped to his back.
Also, the camaraderie on the set was amazing. These women are all in the same circle, and there was a playful competitiveness as they showed off tricks. We shot for three days, and by the end of the shoot, they were all best friends.