Corporate marketers discover guerrilla gigs—and another assault on the public is born. From the New York Times:

Something to Rah-Rah-Rah About for Christmas
November 11, 2009

…The Gap campaign — created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami and Boulder, Colo., owned by MDC Partners — includes, in addition to the commercials, print advertisements, a presence on Facebook and a four-city tour by a troupe of cheerleaders and drummers who will “appear in unexpected places when you least expect it,” said Ivy Ross, executive vice president of marketing for the Gap brand at Gap in San Francisco. …

“We were very conscious of the environment we’re in,” she added, and the idea was to produce a campaign that was “optimistic and bold,” countering the concept that “some people say you can’t be happy this year because we’re going through a crisis.”

Because “we’re going through hard economic times,” Ms. Ross said, the goal was “to liberate our customers to celebrate the holidays.”

And “instead of holiday carols, cheers are the biggest call to action,” she added.

The fast pace of the commercials, and their choreographed cast members, call to mind successful Gap spots in the 1990s in which khaki-clad dancers performed to musical genres like swing.

“The element that is similar is the high energy,” Ms. Ross said. “It’s saying: ‘Smile a little bit, don’t be burdened by what you think you should be doing. There are no shoulds.’ ” …

The reason Gap will resume running Christmas commercials is that “we really felt we wanted to wait till we had something to talk about,” Ms. Ross said. …

To underscore those messages, one commercial will promote a “buy one, get one” sale on merchandise from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27.

The dancing cheerleaders spell out the retail acronym for such sales, chanting, “B-o-g-o!”

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.


  1. I do believe that even though it is the current Social Darwinist political top dog, Capitalism is a parasitic cancer on society. It’s a disease that eats away at the core functions of the human mind and reprograms it to meet it’s needs. I’d know. I work in the belly of the beast.

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