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.
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 Artists — Ceilen Lau and Tristan Eaton
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:
Here are some photos / videos of the campaign in action:
Agency credit to: Y&R China