Last week Slate’s Seth Stevenson published an article about Spike Jonze’s “Pardon Our Dust” Gap ad. There are two versions of this ad — the much cooler Jonze-approved version that I found on the internet and which never played on TV, and the totally gutless Gap-marketing-execs approved version, (linked in the Slate article) which uses a musical cut called “Don’t Stand Still” instead of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” the mischievous scoring from Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” that Jonze used.
Stevenson explains that a Gap spokesperson claimed to have “tried several variations” of the ad, settling on the one they thought worked best. But it causes me to wonder, did The Gap not use Jonze’s version because they thought it was too much on its own wavelength? Perhaps it just plain scared them.
Admittedly, Jonze’s version doesn’t really deal with, much less convey excitement about, the idea of a forthcoming renovation of the Gap stores. What it does is comically express a fierce loathing of the Gap brand and, as some have suggested, a distain for all corporate chain stores everywhere.
However, Stevenson feels that “what the company needs is a piece of marketing that suggests radical changes are afoot — that the Gap brand is about to tear itself down to its foundations and be reborn.” He boldly wonders, “Did Gap not see the possibilities? Were they too scared to go for broke?” The answer is that Gap executives saw exactly what the ad portrayed and consequently squashed it’s distribution. They aren’t ready for a complete brand restructuring — which this ad would have been perfect for. With that in mind please enjoy the internet leaked and Spike Jonze approved, Director’s cut Gap Ad.