Just ahead of the back-to-school season, Gap is encouraging its consumers to join in celebrating inclusion with its newly released inclusive campaign. The creative was inspired by the children’s book of the same name, Everyone Belongs, written by disability advocate Heather Avis.
The campaign features a wide range of children of all abilities and special talents, including those of Avis’s own children with Down syndrome, a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome.
Dedicated to creating a more inclusive world, Avis is the founder of The Lucky Few Foundation, a national Down syndrome advocacy organization; and she’s also a New York Times bestselling author. With the release of her second book, Everyone Belongs, Avis inspired the perfect backdrop for Gap’s latest GapKids campaign — taking inspiration from the book and showcasing a diverse group of kids who make the world brighter by sharing their individuality.
Concepted by Gap Creative Director, Len Peltier, shot by Jack O’Connor and directed by Lauren Sick, the cast of kiddos showcase their individual styles and the joy they feel from being who they are and doing what they love. Each youngster is styled in organic loose denim, khaki, pocket tees, dresses, varsity jackets and other modern looks.
“Celebrating individuality has always been iconic to Gap brand,” says Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing. “Back-to-school is the right time to bring this message of belonging to the forefront and reinforce that there is no greater joy than being your true self. ‘Everyone Belongs’ shares an important message for kids and adults alike; and we are excited to continue to encourage individuality, acceptance and the joy we feel when we embrace our unique selves.”
The “Everyone Belongs” GapKids campaign cast includes:
- 13-year-old Adrina Castro who can be found playing basketball, making silly videos with her sister, staying fit and spreading positivity—all from her wheelchair.
- 4-year-old Beauden Baumkirchner, a septic shock survivor, who, with two prosthetic legs, enjoys biking, quad riding, swimming and knee boarding.
- 6-year-old Brody Schaffer, a social media influencer and entertainer growing up free of gender stereotypes, who sings, dances and plays the piano.
- Avis says her three children, Macy, Truly and August, are her inspiration for social awareness and acceptance. The “Everyone Belongs” campaign marks the third time the Avis children are featured in a GapKids creative.
Your Chance to Be Cast in Future GapKids Campaigns
Beyond the campaign, GapKids is hosting its first-ever digital talent show, encouraging kids across the country to participate and show off their very own talents and skills. There will be a call-to-action for families to upload videos of kids performing their talents to social media, using the hashtag #GapKidsBelong, with a range of participants to be highlighted on future GapKids channels and campaigns. [Follow Gap on social for additional details.]
And, to further celebrate belonging, Gap is turning the page on educational barriers by donating 20,000 brand new copies of Everyone Belongs to schools in need via First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing learning materials to underprivileged classrooms.