“They changed the world. Not the shirt.” is the tagline for one of the biggest pushes in global advertising this year. GANT is a brand that has long been rooted in the American East Coast. What was once a lifestyle brand for the beach is now shaking off its sandy image for an international and highbrow persona.
GANT has completely revamped its advertising strategy, rolling out an international campaign for the first time in its history. Their promotional video shows how great minds of the 20th century went on to change the world, all wearing GANT shirts. The campaign also highlights how their heritage is in the veins of world-class university campuses such as the Ivy League.
It’s a bold move for a brand whose previous incarnations were more American Eagle than American pioneer. GANT isn’t trying to make a sexy campaign pumped full of celebrity faces and gimmicky clothing. What GANT is doing is saying, “We believe in quality”, in both garments and education.
What’s really engaging about GANT’s approach is who is now fronting the brand. Instead of a Kardashian or a Hadid, GANT has chosen five ‘talents’ to be the face of their print campaign. Tracy K. Smith (Pulitzer Prize Poet), Natvar Bhavsar (Painter), Mark Platkin (Rainforest Advocate), Jennifer Staple-Clark (Founder of Unite for Sight) and George Weiner (Founder of Whole Whale) are GANT’s chosen ones to promote the brand and their philosophy of quality.
Started in Connecticut, USA by Jewish immigrant Bernard Gantmacher – who had arrived from the Russian empire in 1914 – GANT was then sold on to Swedish company Pyramid Sportswear and is now in the hands of Swiss holding company Maus Frères, making it a truly international look; American sportswear with European sophistication.
The classic shirt is a wardrobe essential and GANT are essentially saying that with the right one, you can achieve anything. Their approach to advertising is an exciting and innovative one. Campaigns aimed a students have the tendency to be repetitive; assuming all students just want free stuff or to get off their faces. Invest in a shirt and maybe you’ll invest in your future.
By Anne Devlin