Don’t you think the New Gap, Old Gap logo drama was a lot like the New Coke, Old Coke marketing stunt hopped up on modern day social media steroids? Or maybe it’s that my brain is trained to think this way because so often the job of the PR pros is to help marketers create buzz, and that’s exactly what the new Gap logo accomplished. I just can’t fathom that the thoughtful marketing folks at the Gap didn’t do their scenario planning homework and examine their new logo launch through every possible lens to determine the outcomes (you know, if A then B.) Surely they would have preferred some outcomes more than others, but none were troubling, and they all helped create “conversation” around a brand that isn’t much talked about these days.
I also believe the Gap counted on an energetic fan base to help them light up social networks and fuel viral buzz around the new logo – it didn’t really matter if anyone loved or hated the logo. Any outcome was good because it created buzz, and just in time for the Holiday season.
For those who may have missed this news, Gap marketers quietly unveiled a new logo, which ignited all the people who would care about a new logo – marketers and logo designers. The vocalists thought the Gap should keep the original logo, or possibly even return to the 1970′s logo as a retro nod to their great jeans and white T-shirt roots. It is ironic that the people online who are dubbing the logo change a “non event,” are the very same people who are fueling the viral buzz; they can’t seem to stop talking about it and have actually propelled the conversation into a mainstream spotlight. Have a look:
• Front page AdAge article, with over 30 comments
• Close to 4000 comments on The Gap’s Facebook page
• Google returns 17,700,000 results for the search term “new Gap logo”
A blog post form Ohheykyle (Rochester, NY) addressed Marka Hansen, President of Gap North America, on AdAge, “HA! Very clever Marka!! I’m impressed with the way you turned our collective attention to GAP just in time for the holidays.”
Oh Hey Kyle, I’m with you. Isn’t it also neat that while the Gap had the spotlight on them, they were able to make news out of the fact that they are going to turn their big box “red” for their seasonal campaign? I mean, seriously, who would care if not for the buzz about their logo?
Please weigh in. Was the new GAP, back to the original GAP logo a well-planned social media strategy or just a failed design in your opinion?