by Kitty Savage
Bootsy Collins has been getting knee deep in winter boots, and CP&G Advertising has now helped the world make a literal connection between footwear and Bootsy’s name, dubbed to him as a child by his mother.
(see commercial above)
Sparkly boots! Furry boots! Boots with sole! I asked Bootsy to tell me more about his creative participation in the commercial. Bootsy says, “This was Old Navy’s idea, they wrote the script for me and I funked it up as much as commercial TV would allow!”
The last campaign undertaken by Old Navy involved their own brand of celebrity, the “SuperModelquinn” which failed to increase figures this past year for the apparel company. The creative director was scrapped from the project and CP & G Advertising developed a new strategy incorporating popular music styles and figures. They even went so far as creating their own record label, producing songs and videos celebrating trendy ankle jeans.
Reportedly, the Incrediboots campaign will run through most of November, and is meant to target 25-35 year old women. However, I can’t help but wonder if the playful, Willy Wonka nature of the commercial would skew it to younger audiences. Perhaps by using an icon as animated as Bootsy, who was most famed in the 70’s, and combining with the influence of the remake of Willy Wonka film, allows CP & G to craft a message which resonates with several generations.
The partnership with Old Navy brand may not be settling well with all of Bootsy’s fans, however. Bootsy doesn’t mind too much- he’s setting the game straight. “Dude said to me, What’s whiter than Old Navy? I said what ever it is The Mothership will be landing on it next. We funkin’ everybody up!” Bootsy also told Facebook funkateers today, and his less encouraging critics, “Thanks for the love to my real Funkateers, but you other Mugs & Thugs have got to loosen up about Old Navy & Bootsy comin’ 2gether. Ain’t nothin’ But a party baba, One Nation 4 Education. Now Boot-Up!”
Bootsy is not the first to realize the benefits of ad campaigning for establishing a household name of both brands. We’ve all seen Missy Elliot and Madonna support GAP, and Stevie Wonder on Volkswagon commercials, just to name a few. Bootsy is both starting the conversation in homes of who he is and where he’s come from, as well as showing younger artists that they can earn money on the side without completely jeopordizing their image. Bootsy’s fun-loving, colorful, extravagant personality was simply used as a vehicle to express his mission in funkdefying the nation, while helping Old Navy create a fun, multi-generational advertisement. I suspect both Bootsy’s music sales and Old Navy will see the equity that advertising can bring.
This advertising campaign has been triggered the same week as Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku clothing line has been released with Target. As musicians are teaming up with large clothing corporations to increase their yearly profit margins, the stigma of selling out is less important than solving the need for musicians to generate incomes they can live on. While Gwen and Bootsy are already icons, lesser known musicians can take a tip that if they’re not selling their music as well as they once were, it may be time to expand their creativity for a partnership or brand extension to bring in the extra bacon.
I have to say this is a great way for the youth to discover Bootsy’s music. Some may think it’s selling out, but if we are going to keep the funk alive, then we’re talking about maximum reach, and that’s what we’re seeing here. Funk on!
You can get your Incrediboots on www.OldNavy.com
So, Funkateers, what do you think of the commercial? Are you tempted to boot up? Reply with comments below!