GAP Clothing And Usher Bring Freedom To China

Let's GAP Together

American clothing retailer, ‘GAP’ is launching the second phase of its first ever Chinese advertising campaign, “Let’s GAP Together“.

The campaign’s theme is an interesting one – according to the marketing press it, “celebrates the new-found sense of freedom and liberation of China’s youth“. This is in reference to the Chinese government recent “openess and reconnection to the world”.

“Freedom” and “China” are two words that many Westerners would be cautious to place together. The perception from the West is that Chinese people are not free. One could refer to countless examples where Chinese people are denied certain freedoms, most recently China’s blocking of micro-blogs that referred to “Egypt”.

Despite the restrictions there is no doubt the Chinese youth of today (aka ‘The Golden Generation’) have arguably more freedom than ever before.

Lets-Gap-Together China Store

Personally though, I don’t think GAP’s campaign is referring to political freedom, but more trying to demonstrate that the brand’s clothing allows Chinese consumers the freedom to express themselves.

Although I do wonder how many Mainland Chinese can actually afford GAP clothing? Probably not a large majority. Therefore, at the risk of reading too much into it, is GAP somehow inadvertently saying that freedom only comes with wealth? Hmm.

Before this gets too heavy, let’s look at the print ads. Each advert pairs American and Chinese individuals, who best represent freedom of self-expression, with the intent of illustrating that despite the cultural differences between the USA and China – creativity and individuality break down all boundaries.

The photographer was Annie Leibovitz and you will see below there are some interesting pairings:

The DJsDiplo and Wordy

GAP China - DJ Diplo and DJ Wordy

The Pop-starsUsher and Jolin Tsai

Jolin Tsai and Usher

The FilmmakersBarry Levinson and Johnnie To

GAP China - Johnny To and Barry Levinson

The PhotographersAnnie Leibovitz and Wing Shya

GAP China -- Annie Leibovitz and Wing Shiya

The EnvironmentalistsZhou Xun and Philippe Cousteau Jr

GAP China - Philippe Cousteau Jr and Zhou Xun

The BloggersJulia Frakes and Wang Momo

GAP-China-Print-Ad-Wang-Momo-and-Julia-Frakes

The Artists Ceilen Lau and Tristan Eaton

GAP China - Tristan Eaton and Ceilen Lau

Do check out GAP’s “Let’s Gap Together” website, which is  available in both English and Chinese. If you want to learn more about the campaign watch the video below:

On YouTube

On Tudou

Here are some photos / videos of the campaign in action:

Lets Gap Together Outdoor Advertising 3

Lets Gap Together Outdoor Advertising 2

Let's Get Together Outdoor Advertising

GAP China - Magazine advertising

Gap China - instore

Agency credit to: Y&R China

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  • Why is Zhou Xun an environmentalist? And interesting that Jolin Tsai is Taiwanese…

    • Hi moom,

      According to the campaign website: “Zhou Xun is not only famous for her acting career, she is also a passionate UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador.

      Best,
      Dan

      • mceebee

        Its not Famous, the only thing that gets her going is Money… hired her for a phone launch and while talking to her its all about money.. she’s really Bitchie… own person thought only…

        • Of Canada

          To be fair. . why the hell else would she be there shilling for you phones. Believe me all these people talking bullshit in that interview about gap. . their there for money and spotlight.

    • Regina

      Taiwanese ARE Chinese.

    • beowulf

      Jolin Tsai must be one of those crazy Taiwanese traitors who consider themselves as Chinese too. I know – nuts!

      Yes, I agree! If the hate our freedoms we must bomb them!

      ;-)

      Taiwanese ARE Chinese – they just do not want to give up democracy and prefer a local government to a central government far away. Very understandable.

      • Yes, but this is a mainland campaign, isn’t it? So ironic they have to go to Taiwan to find someone “free” enough.

        • beowulf

          There are guys from “mainland” China, Hongkong and Taiwan in the campaign. They could also find easily famous people who are from beijing. But why to do it that way? They are all Chinese. And the Message is that Westerners and Chinese can live and work together. If you are interested in campaigns who promote that Taiwanese and Mainland-Chinese can live and work together, I recommend you propaganda posters from the Mao Zi Dong era.

          Last but not least – “freedom” and China is not a contradiction. It is just a contradiction for people who use the word “freedom” in the political George W. way… Wait a second – this is now really ironic:

          You can enjoy more freedom in China than in the now “free” Iraq.

          haha

        • Tommy

          They also have to go to mainland to find decent music, movies and education.

          • Tommy

            *Go to Taiwan to find…

      • beowulfool

        Taiwan is part of China you moron. As if you didn’t know that.

    • kissmyass

      too Daniel
      ye you are right, but why i never hear she did anything good for environment???
      GAP just wants an eye catching print ads!! otherwise it is a great opportunity to represent some really mainland environmentalists!!!
      by the way first image for DJ i thought they are a cute gay couple!!!

      • Of Canada

        Arent’ most of the mainland environmentalists in jail or under house arrest? Environmental activism in China is a very dangerous profession.

  • McCurry

    Typically Beautiful Chinese Girl with White Guy Ad Campaign

    • fenqing mike

      Typical White chauvinistic propaganda, pairing white men with asian girls, fuck you gap!

      • fenqing mike

        Annie Leibovitz, a jewish, no wonder Jews are on a hidden agenda for multi-culturalism, disgusting.

        • jd lang

          too true……they push around it so no one would question jewish dominance. very shady, i’d doubt it would work in china, infiltration of a billion people wouldn’t be easy.

  • Joh

    Even in Asia White company will push the WM/AF interracial crap. I hope Chinese don’t shop at this stupid store.

    Unfortunate, Chinese like to be white man’s second. No wonder no white person ever respect Chinese. Chinese don’t even respect themselve to voice their opposition to this.

    Ever see an Chinese guy with a white girl in America ad campaign. NO.

  • zilong8819

    China shouldn’t post things like that pairing Chinese with some mix bags of white people and especially an Asian women with white men. So what purpose do serve doing that? For goodness sake have some self respect China and stop being like America or the consequence of your culture will also wipe out. Society is bad enough.

    • Suzy Wong

      Gap really missed the mark here. There was no need to pair the asian celebrities with westerners. And Usher – come on! Gap just doesn’t have a clue.

    • i’m_just_saying

      actually i thought it was a good idea. many chinese believe in a saying called 冲样没外 (chong yang mei way), which means respect the foreigners, or the foreigners are right. also because many in china do not actually trust the advertisement for chinese prodcuts, there have been cases where products are only bought because an European or Westerner was shown on the advertisement. In fact because many of the merchandise being sold in china was fake for faulty the PRC launch and anti-fake campaign and every March 15th the CCTV (largest television monopoly)hosts a gala where Chinese Citizens can call an receive refunds for false advertisement and faulty products. China values many Western ideas when it comes to beauty and style. why do you think many of the asian girls prefer to be pale? The consensus is that if a Westerner would buy it then it is ok for them to buy it. With that being said i think Gap did a good job recognizing what their target audience believes is good. I think it was good strategigzeing.

      • 老K

        崇洋媚外 means to be crazy about foreign things and act in a subservient way with foreigners so not only have you incorrectly written the saying but you have also misinterpreted it’s meaning which is extremely pejorative

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