Gant Unveils Bold New Heritage-Fueled Campaign

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After being teased earlier this week on social media, today Gant unveiled a bold new marketing campaign. A high-production video on Gant.com features an elderly campus dry cleaner narrating the story of all the changes he’s seen over the past 50 years, spoken over footage of campus-quad touch football, herringbone-clad students carrying picket signs, poetry readings, dances, and other ’60s-inspired collegiate scenes.

The tagline at the end of the video — “they changed the world, not the shirt” — is superimposed over a white buttondown, as an authoritative voice says, “Gant, shirtmakers since 1949.”

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The marketing campaign also includes profiles of half a dozen modern pioneers in a variety of fields, as well as presentation of a new collection called Diamond G, named for an emblem that once appeared on the tail of Gant shirts.

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The copywriting includes this important line for all makers of buttondowns to note:

The collar is non-fused, which gives it that effortless vibe.

The oxford-cloth shirts, priced at $99, are alpha-sized and therefore intended for a younger, sport shirt-wearing consumer rather than a dress shirt-wearing desk jockey. There is much more neo-prep content to browse on the brand’s site, including the use of “blazer” for sportcoat, but that’s the fashion industry for you.

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The best part of Gant’s heritage-fueled campaign is this video about the brand’s history, a must-see for all fans of Ivy League Look history. — CC

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33 Comments on "Gant Unveils Bold New Heritage-Fueled Campaign"

  1. The “look” will weather the ages. Even Spock would look good in herringbone tweed

  2. Lots of talk in their materials about the original makers. I would like to see more about the fine people who make their goods today. I wonder whether they have brought manufacturing back to the US, or how the workers are treated, and in what conditions they work.

  3. Cool video, lame shirt. Unlined collar means nothing if the points are 2″.

  4. Do students who don’t know what a wristwatch is know what a dry cleaner is?

  5. Was hoping for some actual archival footage rather than models pretending to be college students. Oh well, more of our virtual existence!

  6. I thought that campus looked familiar! Spent enough bitter cold mornings running around Eddie’s Parade as a rower at Fordham Prep. While the clothing is questionable, definitely love the setting.

  7. CoolidgeRedux | September 3, 2015 at 9:25 pm |

    I would love to be excited about this launch, but my experience with Gant products has been awful. I bought an expensive shirt from their website labeled ‘oxford’ that turned out be some kind of sheer, linen material. The customer service was awful and unsympathetic; one would think that a company with such a long shirtmaking history would be able to properly identify and label one of the most iconic fabrics.

  8. “They changed the world…” Good Lord. There really is no shame in/amidst the advertising industry, is there?

    This is awful.

  9. …with all of the options (New England Shirt, Gambert, Individualized, and now a few online custom shirt shops), I have no idea how Gant can make it. This speaks to the power of marketing and branding. When fused with nostalgia, the sky’s the limit.

  10. …couldn’t agree with @S.E. more. This is embarrassing and stale.

  11. @SE

    Just playing devil’s advocate here: Gant isn’t saying that IT changed the world, but that the people discussed in the narration did.

    Also, I think most of the competitors you list specialize in dress shirts. As I pointed out in the story, these are alpha-sized and clearly aimed at a younger person likely to wear them as sport shirts and not primarily with a jacket and tie.

  12. William Richardson | September 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm |

    @Christian

    Advocacy understood. This is why standards are important.

    Will

  13. It must take a lot of effort to appear freshly un-shaved every single day?

  14. William Richardson | September 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm |

    @rojo

    Well said.

    Will

  15. William Richardson | September 4, 2015 at 5:36 pm |

    Do my Troy Shirtmaker’s Guild shirts also have a “vibe”?

    Will

  16. Probably more vibe than you do.

  17. William Richardson | September 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm |

    @Christian

    I’ve a sneaking suspicion that you do not approve of me.

    Will

  18. rojo writes: “It must take a lot of effort to appear freshly un-shaved every single day?”

    Not hard at all; just use a Miami Device…

  19. @WR

    Not at all. Just a little thrust and riposte. Though I didn’t get the advocacy comment earlier.

  20. So…the owners of Gant changed the world?

    ?

  21. The sale prices are actually pretty good. And there’s “regular fit.” Which isn’t slim, I guess.

  22. Does your computer have sound? Listen to the narration.

  23. Back in the day, what made a Gant shirt recognizable and appealing to me was how high the collar was on the neck. To DCG’s comment I would add, an unlined collar means nothing when it’s only an inch high!

  24. William Richardson | September 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm |

    @Christian

    Understood that Gant was not claiming to have changed the world.

    I have fond memories of my dad wearing his Gant and Sero oxfords with Rooster regimental stripe ties. He may not have changed the world but he taught me to appreciate tasteful, high quality clothes. I hope Gant will keep the quality high and offer, what I would consider, properly fitting shirts.

    Incidentally, I begin fencing lessons in the fall.

    Will

  25. Bravo on the fencing! Keep me posted. I’ve got my hands full with golf and tennis these days, but was doing some research the other day and ended up leaving a comment on this YouTube video about the most graceful fencer I’ve ever seen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_tVnDB2AB0

  26. Wow, our WordPress update has all these cool unexpected features. You’ve probably now noticed the related posts that come up at the bottom of posts, and I see now that links to YouTube in the comments section now load the video.

  27. Picked up one of the “Perfect Oxfords” in Capri Blue for the equivalent of $105 (that was with a 10% discount) yesterday and wore it last night. I’m usually a size L guy in Gant shirts but I had to size up so these run a little slimmer than the Yale Co-op shirts I usually get from them.

    + Soft, pretty thick, very comfortable fabric
    + Logo-free locker loop
    + Good button placements (except for the sleeves since I hade to size up, some sewing needed there)

    – Logo
    – No chest pocket

    Haven’t tried it on with a tie yet, if that works out I might go for the other colors aswell.

  28. I’m pretty sure there isn’t much overlap between the target audiences of this blog and that marketing campaign.

    I regularly walk by the San Francisco Fencing Club. It looks very busy in there on Saturday mornings.

  29. So, people who wore Gant shirts changed the world? People who lived while Gant shirts were being made and sold? People who knew people who might have worn Gant shirts?

    Affiliation marketing–(sigh).

  30. Okay…got it. I think.

    Yale undergrads who used a particular dry cleaner changed the world.

    Brilliant.

  31. Does the “Changed World” really need another white shirt, or is this another example of the Department of Redundancy Department??

    Brooks Brothers and Mercer are enough — the wheel has already been invented the last time I checked.

  32. Perfect shades of pink and yellow, and the blue looks good, too.

    Too bad about the alpha sizing.

    And the miniscule collar.

  33. Bags' Groove | September 9, 2015 at 2:19 am |

    And finally, the look I never could stand, or understand, is a knot, an inch of tie, and a collar peeping out above a sweater. Yet we have it right at the start to introduce a new shirt campaign. Mind you, when it comes to OCBD lovers, little outside of the collar’s degree of roll seems to interest them.

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