The Gap Inc - Total Ad Spend
Gap Inc. spent $179 million and $182 million on measured media advertising in the United States in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Gap Inc. spent $650 million on its global advertising in 2018, while it spent $673 million on the same in 2017.
GAP INC. UNITED STATES AD SPEND
- In 2018, Gap Inc. spent $179 million on measured media advertising in the United States.
- Gap Inc. spent $182 million on measured media advertising in the United States in 2017.
- From January to December 2015, Gap Inc. spent $164 million in measured media advertising in the United States; this was a 26.4% decline over 2014 figures.
- However, from January 2016 to November 2016, the company spent $118.7 million in measured media advertising in the United States.
GAP INC. GLOBAL AD SPEND
- Gap Inc. spent $650 million on its global advertising in 2018, while it spent $673 million on the same in 2017.
- In 2016, 2015, and 2014, Gap Inc. spent $601 million, $578 million, and $639 million, respectively, on advertising worldwide.
- Gap Inc. spent $637 million on its global advertising in 2013, while it spent $653 million on the same in 2012.
- In 2015, Banana Republic's marketing spend was $14.3 million on measured media, which was a 54% reduction over 2014 figures. Between 2014 and 2013, the marketing spend also reduced by 39%.
- An article published by the New York Times in 2008 noted that "In recent years, the Banana Republic annual ad budget has ranged from about $30 million to $50 million."
- It has been reported that Athleta is increasing its marketing spend given the growing competition in the women's athletic apparel market, with particular focus on "paid social, and looking to new partnerships to amplify its voice."
- According to Arthur Peck, CEO of The Gap, "We spend close to $200 million a year on marketing today through this new Gap Inc."
Our research commenced on Gap Inc.'s website, as the parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Hill City, and Janie & Jack. We looked through the company's annual report, investor presentations, news articles, and press releases for direct data points into each brand's ad spend in the United States and /or worldwide. The only available expenses provided in the annual report are the operational, cost of goods sold and occupancy expenses, yet these data points were not segmented by the different brands. In the annual report, the company notes that operational expenses are inclusive of marketing expenses, but a breakdown of this was not provided. While the investor presentation contains details of marketing plans for the various brands, no ad spend or marketing budget figures were attached.
Next, we looked through third-party companies that provide advertising intelligence such as Kantar Media and Red Books for each individual brand's ad spend. Our findings indicate that Red Books may have the requested data, however, this is behind a paywall requiring paid access, although there's an option for a free trial.
Our next strategy was to conduct a press search on each brand to identify direct ad spend figures. While this approach did not yield answers, it provided insights into why the segmentation of the ad spend by the different GAP Inc. brands is not available. For example, this article by CNBC notes that "Gap doesn’t break out how much it’s been spending on the marketing behind Athleta or how that will evolve down the road. But a spokeswoman said, 'We are continuing to grow our marketing investments to fuel our business growth.'" We also found that GAP just launched Hill City in 2018, and only recently acquired Janie & Jack March 2019. Through this approach also we were able to provide relevant insights on some of Gap Inc.'s brands, which we have presented above.
Additionally, we tried to identify various data points that may enable us to triangulate each brand's ad spend. For example, if we could identify the percentage of revenue each brand commits to marketing or advertising. However, despite perusing various interviews (here and here) from company executives and articles, we found no such data points. As such, we have presented Gap Inc.'s ad spend in the United States, as well as worldwide too.