Tim Tan Huynh

Gap – “Golf”

8 Oct 2014 — Nifty camera-work, sexy dancing, and old-school soul make for an awesome commercial.
Gap - Golf
Charlbi Dean Kriek dances at a golf driving range.

I saw this commercial for the first time on the weekend; I was watching college football. Like a lot of people, I searched for the song on YouTube. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve listened to “Wait a Minute Girl” by The Newday literally a couple thousand times since then. I’ve never heard of this group until now; they seem to be one of the countless Midwest-ish soul acts of the 60s/70s. In any case, the song makes this commercial stand out.

The decision to record the song on film instead of using a separate audio track is interesting: the song playing over the speaker puts you in the moment. An attractive woman doing a provocative dance is naturally captivating, but the camera following her for most of the commercial, especially the long shot in the middle third, reinforces your focus on her dancing and not her clothes, which is the point of the commercial and the campaign.

In other words, the woman and her impromptu dance routine embody the “Let your actions speak louder than your clothes” tagline. I don’t like how the words look in the commercial, because I’m not a fan of all-lowercase or unusually aligned text, but the message itself is easy to understand.

Of the Dress Normal commercials, “Golf” is the only one that I like. Wieden+Kennedy is the ad agency behind the campaign and The Mill is responsible for visual effects. David Fincher, of Fight Club fame, is the director. I wonder what would Tyler Durden think, though.