Whether you hate to love them or love to hate them, Gap commercials usually evoke some level of nostalgia.
Most recently, unlikely duo Cher and Future got together for Gap’s latest installment of its “Meet Me in the Gap” fall campaign. The two merge musical styles in a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” resulting in a duet you never knew you needed.
Much like this new campaign, Gap ads have existed as historical markers of not only the times we’ve had in fashion—from oversized khakis to boot cut flares—but also the times we’ve had in music. From pop to hip-hop to even rock, Gap ads have featured some of the industries top artists. And to recount a few of them, here are some of Gap’s best music moments from their campaigns over the years.
You can’t help but catch the feels from this campaign. Dhani Harrison and Alexis Ray Joel joined forces with the Gap in 2013 for its #BacktoBlue campaign in which each performed stripped down, soulful renditions of their parents’ iconic songs—George Harrison’s “For You Blue” and Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.” There’s no glitz or glamour with these ads—just good music and, of course, blue jeans.
At this time, HBO’s Sex and the City was wrapping up and Sarah Jessica Parker’s career was at an all time high. So pairing her next to rock legend Lenny Kravitz for an exciting and sexy Gap commercial set to “Lady,” the surprise hit off Kravitz’s seventh album Baptism, made for one of the coolest clothing campaigns of the era. The music is edgy and all the dancing is fun, making it one of Gap’s more memorable campaigns.
We never knew we needed Mary J. Blige and Josh Duhamel to get us in the holiday spirit until this commercial. Mary’s powerful voice is mesmerizing and as soon as this jingle would come up on TV screens back in 2004, it couldn’t help but make viewers reminisce on fuzzy blankets, cozy turtlenecks and Christmas cheer.
This commercial, featuring these mega superstars collaborating together, was one of the Gap’s most anticipated campaigns. Although it may seem a bit cringe-worthy now—after all it was 2003—this was around the time of the iconic Britney and Madonna kiss, and you can bet that definitely gave the brand some added publicity.
Yes, that is in fact Daft Punk under those masks, dancing along with Juliette Lewis to “Digital Love.” The now infamous campaign was one of Daft Punk’s first as they went on to do ads for Apple, Adidas, Coca Cola and more. The French electronic duo’s unchanged robot personas have strengthened their image and established their invaluable coolness in the mainstream— something brands like the Gap wanted to be part of.
If you thought Steven Tyler only did Skittles commercials, think again. Back in 1997, Tyler and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry took part in a commercial for Gap’s easy fit jeans in which they rocked out in front of a white background for 30 seconds. It’s a simple campaign, but it’s effective for both the music and the brand.
Hip-hop heroes Run-D.M.C. were one of the earliest artists to make an appearance in Gap campaigns, featuring a sample of their “Peter Piper.” The result is nearly too cool for the Gap and had everyone running to buy one of those logo emblazed hoodies and Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell cassette for their Sony Walkmans.