Banana Republic has featured real-life couple Nate Berkus and fiancé Jeremiah Brent in its latest ad campaign.
Trey Laird, chief creative officer at Laird & Partners in New York—the MDC Partners division that was hired in November as the new creative agency for Banana Republic—said that the intent of the ads were not provocation. Rather, he explained, the goal was “to reflect our world and how we live, in a true, genuine way.
“We create messages that sometimes are clever, but often there’s not a lot of reality to them; they feel set up,” Laird added. “Letting authenticity be our guide brings a lot of emotion into it.”
It’s been reported that the new ads are aimed at younger consumers, “many of whom regard inclusion and diversity as intrinsic parts of their world views,” which would also explain the new, bold direction that the retailer decided to travel.
Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer at Banana Republic, a unit of Gap Inc., underscored the idea that authenticity can draw attention better than an escapist or fantasy approach because “today, people want to connect with brands that understand who they are. Showcasing true relationships can resonate more deeply.”
In recent months, several high-profile advertisers have featured members of the LGBT community in their campaigns; Coca-Cola and Chevrolet both included real-life gay couples in ads that ran during the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics this year.