As the majority of the U.S. waits on edge of their seats for the election results, many brands have taken it upon themselves to soothe anxiety by being either informative, distractive, or silent. And then there's Gap.
The retailer tried to capitalize on national anxiety by sharing an unnecessary and since-deleted tweet. Yesterday, Gap uploaded a GIF of a hoodie half blue and half red (the Democratic and Republican colors) being zipped up. The caption read: "The one thing we know, is that together, we can move forward 💙❤️."
With people already in need of something to take their frustration out on the morning after the election, the backlash was swift. Twitter collectively came together to call out the hypocrisy and tone-deafness of the post. Specifically, many were left wondering why it was trying to sell a zip-up hoodie in the name of democracy, particularly if the garment (reportedly) doesn't actually exist.
It's also worth noting that the Gap has a 10-year deal with presidential hopeful Kanye West, who has fragmented an already divided election with his desperate bid for the presidency.
And with the stakes so high and two parties that are so fundamentally at odds, it's unsurprising that Gap's message of "let's all just get along" didn't resonate.
This time let's not blame the nameless "social media intern," and instead give all the credit for this PR catastrophe to Gap itself. In fact, in an attempt to save face the brand told New York Times reporter Sapna Maheshwari that the hoodie was not real or for sale and continued to hammer down the message that it was a symbol of unity.
"From the start we have been a brand that bridges the gap between individuals, cultures and generations," the company said in a statement. "The intention of our social media post, that featured a red and blue hoodie, was to show the power of unity. It was just too soon for this message. We remain optimistic that our country will come together to drive positive change for all."