Gap hands mic to kids for back-to-school tie-up with ‘Recess Therapy’

August 11, 2023
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Gap's Collaboration with "Recess Therapy"

Gap’s tie-up with “Recess Therapy” showcases the importance of the back-to-school season through the lens of the youngest generation, relying on giggly commentary for a wholesome marketing play that could strike a chord with parents. The move could also help boost sentiment during an otherwise gloomy back-to-school season, which is expected to see a 10% year-over-year decline in consumer spending.

The collaboration with “Recess Therapy,” a channel best known for its now-iconic “corn kid” interview, also sees Gap tapping into popular culture, which could help drive reach. The 8-minute video features a number of children as they share their perspective on the importance of style for the first day of school, with one participant going as far as dubbing the occasion “fashion week for kids.”

“Recess Therapy” is part of a larger portfolio of creator brands under Doing Things Media.

Gap Celebrates Originality

“We love to celebrate originality at Gap, and there’s no day that’s more important to a child to express their creative style than how they outfit themselves on the first day of school,” said Erika Everett, head of marketing at Gap, in emailed comments.

Gap's Back-to-School Fashion Focus

  • Logo hoodies
  • A faux-leather jacket
  • Baseball hats

The video showcases Gap’s back-to-school fashion, with items including the above. The collection also has a focus on sustainability, with some clothing made from recycled materials.

Consumer Spending on Sustainability

While sustainability is still somewhat of a priority for consumers, its importance has fallen, with only 35% of parents planning to purchase such items this year compared to 50% who planned to last year, according to Deloitte findings.

Gap's Uplifting Back-to-School Marketing

Gap has often looked to uplifting messages for its back-to-school marketing. Last year, the retailer unveiled its “Everyone Belongs” campaign, which included a spot that featured children playing and enjoying hobbies while sharing what it means to be different through messages like, “You can be you, and I can be me.”

As part of a 2021 effort, GapKids released its “Individuals” campaign, which spotlighted a classroom of Memphis fifth graders and their teacher who went viral online for his personalized handshakes.

Other Retailers' Positive Messaging

Aside from Gap, other retailers have looked to positive messaging to drive their back-to-school strategies. For example, Amazon earlier this month collaborated with actor Randall Park for a tongue-in-cheek campaign that urged parents to spend less on school supplies. Also in July, Carter’s released its “Love Every Moment” campaign, which aims to communicate the value in life’s sentimental moments.

‍By Jessica Deyo

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