Today officially marks the first day of fall – which means pumpkin spice, apple picking, flannel, and…The Gap. Inevitably, after the first few mentions of autumn and the thing that runs through my head is “Fall into The Gap,” the long-time jingle and tagline of the clothing retailer.
The Gap was first established by founder Donald Fisher in 1969 in San Francisco. The store sold primarily Levi’s and records and originally named the store Pants and Discs before renaming it the Gap, a nod to the ’60s counterculture and “generation gap:. The store targeted primarily teenagers and college students going after the highly sought-after Levi’s jeans. The first store was wildly successful and soon after, Fisher opened more stores in California, with other states following soon after.
The famous jingle first appeared in 1973 in radio and TV commercials, encouraging consumers to “Fall into the Gap” for affordable and fashionable clothing.
The jingle was created by Art Twain, a young copywriter for Campbell Ewald Advertising, who freelanced for The Gap. Twain created all the radio, TV, and print advertising for The Gap for several years, helping The Gap expand from one store in 1969 to over 200 stores in 1976, just seven years later.
And The Gap’s ubiquitous tagline endured, well into the 1990s. After a break from TV advertising for over a decade, the brand returned to television with an ad campaign reviving its classic “Fall into The Gap” theme in 1997.
All spots in the campaign featured a clean, white background, now a signature look for the brand. In one spot, The Gap hired musician LL Cool J to rap and dance in front of a white screen, ending with the famous tagline “Fall into The Gap.” That year, Ad Age named The Gap “Marketer of the Year,” after its resurgence in advertising, which helped boost the retailer’s sales over 25% over 1996.
So, as you enjoy the first day of fall with your pumpkin spice latte, perhaps a visit to your nearest Gap store is in order.