We’ve all seen epic fails when it comes to bad logo ideas and bad advertising campaigns, but Gap, Inc. decided to take it to a whole new level. Just the other day, Gap debuted their brand new logo, which looks like they threw together in about two minutes. The advertising industry thought Gap was joking around and was looking for attention to the brand. Then Gap comes out and says that the logo change is true and that they have spent two years working on it. Really? If that’s the case, Gap, your ad agency in New York screwed you over.
But wait… now today, Gap has released a statement that they’ve decide to scrap the new logo and stick with the blue-boxed design. How funny is that? Way to go Gap. Next time, before you try something like this, ya’ might wanna do a little bit more homework.
From Ad Age – Wednesday, 06Oct10
Gap Introduces New Logo, Mass Criticism Ensues
But Despite the Outcry, Retailer Remains Mum on Scope of and Reason for the Shift
The new logo has replaced the retailer’s iconic blue box, which had “Gap” emblazoned across it in capital letters, on the brand’s home page. Now, a gradiated blue box is perched at the top right side of the “p” in Gap. The original logo can still be found on the retailer’s Facebook and Twitter page, however.
The logo is pervasive in American culture, appearing on some 1,200 stores in North America. Gap also operates nearly 300 stores in Europe and Asia. Gap is the 84th most-valuable brand in the world, according to Interbrand’s 2010 study. The group values the brand at nearly $4 billion.
Of course a brand is more than a logo, but as far as logos go, Gap’s is an icon. Across the internet detractors have been picking apart the new look, with the most common sentiment being that it looks like something a child created using a clip-art gallery. A Twitter account @gaplogo has even popped up within the last 24 hours and is rapidly attracting new followers. It appears to be a parody account, given the irreverence. Posts detail, for example, how the “marketing team is huddled in a corner eating Ben & Jerry’s and drinking scotch” and the “creative director just quit.”
There are also references to another infamous rebrand: Tropicana. “Peter Arnell just called. He didn’t say anything — all we heard was laughing on the other end of the line,” reads one tweet. “I’m not going the way of Tropicana’s logo. Nowayjose,” reads another.
Gap has remained mum. No official press release explained the shift, and calls for comment were not returned. It’s not clear whether an agency worked with Gap to create the logo. The retailer has worked with Laird & Partners, as well as MDC’s Crispin Porter & Bogusky in the past on creative campaigns.
Sales at the retailer have been tepid in recent months. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4% during the second quarter.
A Facebook post reads, “Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing. We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to … see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.”
Whether the retailer is backpedaling or this was all part of some master plan is still not clear. Calls to the retailer have not been returned. But, if comments on the Facebook post and online chatter are any indication, Gap’s effort to quell the negative firestorm surrounding its new logo is going to be met with resistance.
Posters decry the crowdsourcing proposal as a “disgusting PR ploy,” a “stunt” and “amateur.” Others expressed amazement that the company now appears to be looking for free designs, after seemingly bungling its first attempt, and urged designers not to participate.
From Ad Age – Thursday, 07Oct10
Gap Speaks Out: Yes, the Logo Is Real
And No, the Rollout Wasn’t Some Social-Media Experiment
The logo, created with Laird & Partners, New York, is meant to be the latest “evolution” for the brand, which has been updating its product, rolling out pop-up stores and tapping hot designers such as Patrick Robinson. The logo is also in line with the label on Gap’s popular 1969 jeans line.
|Tell us what you think: Do you expect a company to seek your input before making a major change to its logo, packaging, product?|
Louise Callagy, a Gap spokeswoman, told Ad Age that the brand is changing and the company wanted a new logo to reflect that. “For the last two years we’ve been working on evolving the brand identity for Gap,” she said. “[The new logo] is more contemporary and current and honors the heritage of the Gap brand with the blue box but takes it forward.”
The plan, Ms. Callagy explained, was to roll out the logo on the North American Gap.com site, create some momentum and then feature it in the upcoming holiday campaign. Laird & Partners also worked on the holiday campaign, which is set to include Foursquare founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, as well as Lauren Bush.
Laird & Partners did not return a call for comment.
But, given the swift, predominantly negative response online, plans to roll out the new logo further now appear to be in flux. Ms. Callagy said she couldn’t comment on whether the logo would be rolled out to stores. After the logo has been in the marketplace for some time, she added, the retailer would be prepared to discuss whether it will take the logo overseas. Gap operates some 1,500 stores worldwide.
Replacing signage, updating credit cards, employee name badges and the like would surely be a pricey endeavor. If Gap decides to trash the new logo completely, at least the debacle won’t have cost it millions; it would save itself the heartache experienced by Tropicana when it yanked product off of shelves last year after a much-maligned redesign.
Ms. Callagy said the retailer has been surprised by the response to the new logo, which was received well internally. The retailer has also been tracking the parody accounts @gaplogo and @oldgaplogo. For now, it doesn’t have plans to respond to the accounts.
“It’s impressive, the passionate outpouring from customers,” Ms. Callagy said. “Given this response, we decided to open it up. We’ll explain more specifics in the next few days.”
Gap posted a message on its Facebook page last night saying that in light of the response to its new logo it will be conducting a “crowdsourcing project.”
“Thanks for everyone’s input on the new logo! We’ve had the same logo for 20+ years, and this is just one of the things we’re changing,” The Facebook post reads. “We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to … see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowdsourcing project.”
Asked why Gap handled the rollout the way it did, Ms. Callagy said it was intentional. “Gap’s target customer is the millennial, and we’re exploring ways to communicate with them,” she said. “On Monday, without a lot of fanfare, we introduced the logo on the Gap.com site. … That’s in line with them.”
But what about the customers who feel betrayed by the way Gap up and changed the brand without cluing them in? “We’re addressing that by opening it up and having everyone participate in the process,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Finally, released today, just after the close of the business day, Monday, 11Oct10.