Gap's Failed Girl Power

If you're like me, and have gotten a little sick of hearing Sarah Jessica Parker sing about how much she likes being a girl on those Gap (NYSE: GPS  ) commercials that are currently all over TV, here's some good news. Gap will be switching spokespeople for its summer campaign.

Gap's latest SJP ad has been on a seemingly endless loop on the networks, at least whenever I happen to switch on the set, and I was beginning to really grit my teeth starting last week. Just last night, though, I hit the limit, slamming the mute button lest I throw something at my television screen. Yep, if you like being a girl, that means you should go to Gap, sure, whatever. I get it, I get it. Enough already!

Sarah Jessica Parker was signed on last spring, snapped up quickly by Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Gap right after she ended her days as Carrie Bradshaw on HBO's Sex and the City. I did a little Take about it at the time, in fact. As outlandish as the idea was that SJP's persona on that show might smoothly transfer to Gap's fashion sense, it seemed just kooky enough to work, given her recent popularity.

Gap's press announcement today didn't give any indication that the campaign was not successful, although it called the three-season campaign with Sarah Jessica Parker "unique," as the company doesn't plan any more multi-season contracts with celebrities. Take that as you will, as it might be interpreted as an expensive initiative that didn't garner the results expected.

Of course, investors who have been watching this stock know that despite the best efforts of Ms. Parker and the creative teams that came up with the ads, Gap's quarterly fashion sense continues to be, well, flattish. Lots of investors have been waiting for quite some time for Gap to stage a return to its former levels of denim-and-khaki greatness, but in the meantime, other, hotter retailers have stolen the show when it comes to sales and earnings performance, like Chico's (NYSE: CHS  ) and Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN  ) . How often do you see either of them advertise on television? Interesting, isn't it.

In Sarah Jessica Parker's defense, of course, an ad campaign might spark interest in a retail brand, but in the long run, it's the threads on the shelves and hangers that really coerce customers into buying. SJP might burst into song about how much she likes being a girl, but in this case, it seems like a case of failed girl power.

Gap is aMotley Fool Stock Advisorpick. Get Tom and David Gardner's picks hot off the presses every month when you subscribe toMotley Fool Stock Advisor.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.


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10/23/2014 4:02 PM
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