- Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic brand released a new ad campaign called "Color-Full" for Black History Month, according to a press release. The effort supports the launch of new styles and colors for the brand's True Hues line of nude basics for a range of skin tones, coming in the spring.
- The campaign, which has a message of persistence and hard work, is centered around two short films, one profiling dancer and director Jon Boogz, and the other on poet and screenwriter Chinaka Hodge. The ads were created in house by Banana Republic Creative Director Len Peltier and launched on BananaRepublic.com. They will go live on social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Blavity on Feb. 3. Shorter cuts of each video are also being deployed.
- In addition to the films, the brand has worked with photographer Melodie McDaniel to create a series of photos based around her self-curated cast of black models and crew members modeling the brand's colorful spring line. The website features behind-the scenes interviews with the creative people involved in the effort.
Banana Republic's launch of new True Hues styles and the "Color-Full" campaign are the first efforts to come out of Gap Inc.'s Color Proud Council, which launched last April as an internal group dedicated to bringing a range of diverse voices to its teams and productions and inclusive products aimed to appeal to people of all ethnicities.
By offering a product line for a variety of skin tones and using African American creative voices to get the word out, Banana Republic has an opportunity to engage this target audience and others who appreciate inclusive messaging. The new product line could bring new customers through the door as well.
Brands that show a broad variety of cultural and demographic groups in their advertising can improve their perception among consumers and increase their stock value, according to research from Deloitte-owned agency Heat. In fact, brands that had the most representative ads saw stock gains on average of 44% in a seven-quarter period that ended in 2018, Heat found.
The Banana Republic campaign is an example of how more marketers are not simply including models with a variety of skin tones in their ads but also tying these efforts to organizational initiatives that are more inclusive. Automaker Ford is similarly focusing on the behind-the-scenes efforts of women of color who produce successful ads in a new campaign to promote the 2020 model of its best-selling Escape SUV. Actress Angela Bassett narrates the brand's "Built Phenomenally" spot, which stars Ford's commercial team composed of women of color.
Banana Republic's latest effort is also built around influencers like Boogz, Hodge and McDaniel, among others who could help the brand engage in deeper conversations on social media.