September 13, 2017
What do Cher and Future have in common (aside from an uncanny ability to command a first-name-only celebrity status)? A lot more than you may think, including a mutual admiration the came to life and is no better showcased than in Gap’s latest commercial.
The Cher and Future collab comes as the final installment of Gap’s ‘Meet Me in the Gap’ fall campaign, which launched in late July, celebrating all that can be created when people connect and discover that they have more in common than what divides them.
Just as fascinating as the dynamic duos that meet in the Gap, is the man behind the campaign – the legendary Director X – who’s worked with the likes of Jay-z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Korn (just to name a few).
We sat down with Director X to talk about why he’s bringing people together in the Gap, how to get a yodeler and beat boxer to make something beautiful together, and who he’d meet in the Gap if he could.
How did you decide who to pair together for each of the Meet Me in the Gap spots?
A lot of the pairings we put together were individuals who might seem to be diametrically opposed, coming at their art from two different sides of the spectrum. But at the same time, you could see how they could work together to create something. A basketball player and a tap dancer—they’re both heavy on percussion; a yodeler and a beat boxer—they’re both musical. So pairing the tap dancer and the yodeler might have been a stretch, but finding some artistic common ground gave us something good to work with.
What was it like bringing people from different backgrounds together on set? Were there any surprises?
Once we got to set we were all just in work mode. Once the machine was in motion, things moved forward really quickly. Everything was very free moving when we were making these tracks, and there was no awkwardness because we were all focused on the art first and foremost, and weren’t getting caught up in trying to shape the creative process. No big surprises, just really great outcomes. We didn’t push the talent into giving us what the camera needed, and that is what makes these spots so authentic.
Do you have a personal story of meeting someone very different than you and coming together to find common ground?
That basically happens every day I get on set – being a filmmaker it’s part of the job itself. Everyone is coming into these situations from different places in the world. I’m mixed race from Toronto, which is a very multicultural town, and that does help with finding common ground when I meet someone new.
Why is The Gap a great place to bring people together?
The Gap has always been an iconic brand. The clothes they make fit everyone. Anyone from any walk of life and with any style can go into a Gap store and walk out with something that fits who they are.
Who would you meet in The Gap if you could meet anyone?
Anyone living or dead? It would be Bob Marley.
What’s one takeaway you have from working on this campaign?
It was a great experience. I loved it all from the design, to the concept, the creative process, and how the spots came out. Gap is one of those brands where the commercials have always hit a cultural note. I’ve wanted to work on a Gap commercial for well over a decade, and I finally got the opportunity to do so. As a director it’s a great brand to work with. There aren’t many brands in the world that impact culture in the way that the Gap does.