Gap Unveiled Its Holiday Ad and, Spoiler, You Might Cry a Little Before It's Over

Sentimental stuff from Johannes Leonardo

After watching Gap's 2019 holiday ad, all we want for Christmas is a box of Kleenex. 

The minute-long tale from Johannes Leonardo spans years in the lives of a single mom and her son. Early on, she gives him a red Gap hoodie, which acquires potent emotional associations as time rushes by. 

Near the end of the spot, when he's all grown up and comes home for a yuletide visit, the hoodie reappears to tug at our heartstrings: 

Awww. Sniff.

Directed by A.G. Rojas and tagged "Gift the Thought," the spot is low-key, moody and sentimental—but no less effective for that. The concept feels highly relatable, since most folks have beloved possessions—often wardrobe articles—that hold "a treasure trove of memories," notes agency creative director Omid Amidi.

"Our cast was all street-casting," Amidi says. "Most of them had barely, if any, acting experience. And none of them had ever met each other. But by the end of it, they felt like a family. There was a sense of lightness between takes—laughs, hugs, encouragement."

Sniff.

The work breaks across digital, social and streaming platforms starting Nov. 1.

This marks Johannes Leonardo's second big push for Gap, following "It's Our Denim Now," which touted the retailer's fall collection.

It looks nothing like recent high-steppin', jingle-rockin' seasonal Gap campaigns with artists such as Leon Bridges and Janelle Monáe.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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