Old Navy, New Image?


 Recently Old Navy has recruited Amy Poehler to appear in a series of ads that are planned to air through this summer. Amy Poehler is most famous for her role in the show “Parks and Recreation”. She not only stars in the new ads, but she helps in the writing and directing process as well.

The first ad in the series, which took place during American Idol, Poehler plays an executive at a law firm. Someone comes in applying for a job; however, Poehler is too distracted by the potential employee’s pants to notice anything else, like her credentials or past experience. Unsurprisingly, the pants are from Old Navy, and Poehler runs off to go get some. The goal of the commercial was clearly to be humorous in that Poehler is known for her humor more than anything else.


The sense of urgency around the product and that reaction of having to get up right then and there and run to get the pants create the essential image of the ad.

During Black Friday, Old Navy ran a commercial with Melissa McCarthy in which she runs straight out of the set of a game show in order to get to Old Navy. The new commercial with Poehler was clearly replicating this similar need for urgency. The brand most likely had a successful Black Friday and wished to extend that success past the extreme shopping holiday.

According to Ivan Wicksteed, the global CMO at Old Navy, they went to Poehler with a list of possible ad ideas. She gave her input on ideas she likes and ones she did not, and provided additional ideas. When Poehler was chosen to represent the brand, they also gave her a lot of creative control, by not controlling what she had to say and do in her advertisements. In a sense, she was just being herself, which added a personal touch to the commercial. In recent years, Old Navy’s marketing approach and sales results have been “spotty.” For the fiscal year of 2013, the brand reported a 2 % increase in same-store sales globally, compared to a 6 % increase the year before.


Clearly, there is still plenty of work to be done in order for the brand to gain the marketing image it hopes to reach. Many people still believe that the brand just produces and sells clothes that are not too stylish or fitting. However, the brand claims otherwise. They want to give themselves an image that screams cute affordable clothes for everyone, but that is not an image that can be reached overnight. It takes a lot of marketing and advertising techniques, and this new series of ads is the beginning of Old Navy’s strategy in changing its image. What do you think will result? Will Old Navy change its image; will Amy Poehler prove to beneficially represent the brand?



1. Zmuda, Natalie. (2014, March 5). Old Navy Taps Amy Poehler for New Campaign.       Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/navy-taps-amy-poehler-  campaign/291980/


4 thoughts on “Old Navy, New Image?

  1. My mom and I were actually just talking about how much we loved this commercial! I agree with you that Old Navy is less popular due to the stigma around it rather than their actual product. I think bringing Amy Poehler was a really smart move for the organization and could improve their brand image.


  2. I also really enjoyed this commercial. I thought it was smart to let Amy Poehler have creative control. I think that Old Navy just a few years ago went through a re-branding process which in my opinion helped the brand image a lot. I guess if sales are going down for them, it might be time to do it again, but I’m not sure if this particular campaign will be enough.


  3. I was so excited to see Amy Poehler in Old Navy ads! She’s hilarious and she’s just a normal person. She’s relatable. When you always see skinny twigs modeling clothes, it makes you feel like you can’t wear them properly. Not to say Amy Poehler isn’t skinny, but she’s healthy looking. It’s nice to see this for a change. I’d be much more likely to buy jeans that were advertised with her than with jeans advertised by some model.


  4. First of all, Amy Poehler is so hip and cool. Second, people have always told me that if I was a brand of clothing I’d be Old Navy so I’m assuming that it’s hip and cool as well???

    Anyway, I think this is a great pairing and that anything Amy touches turns to gold. I watched the commercial and although I don’t think she had all of the control, she did bring her stellar sense of humor to the character she played. I also think this is a much better commercial than Old Navy’s airport security ad which I cannot stand. Oh well. Keep on truckin’ Amy and I’d recommend maybe pairing with Cracker Barrel or Velveeta next.


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