For back-to-school, Gymboree goes old school


Revamped brand debuts its “Made You Smile” platform lip-synching Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”; a custom augmented reality app; partnership with Color Factory.

Gymboree, the San Francisco-based children’s apparel retailer, is unveiling an exciting rebrand today that includes an all-new collection – focused on quality fabrics, comfortable designs and amazing denim – supported by a national marketing campaign just in time for back-to-school.

Created by Pittsburgh creative agency Where Eagles Dare, the adorable integrated campaign introduces Gymboree’s new brand platform: “Made You Smile.” The centerpiece of the campaign is a full-length music video (with cut-downs for in-cinema, connected TV and social/digital) that features kids wearing the new collection while adorably (and often hilariously) performing Rick Astley’s 1987 hit-turned-internet-meme “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Yeah, Gymboree is “rickrolling” unsuspecting peeps. If you’re not familiar with the term it’s when a music video featuring “Never Gonna Give You Up” pops up. See what you learn reading REEL360?

Each cast member models a different denim fit and outfit, serving as a subliminal denim guide and a fun way to see the entire collection. Watch the irresistible video below:

“In making the video, we wanted to stay authentic to the original ‘80s style Rick Astley dance, with shadow dancing and slow-motion moves,” said Brian Franks, Founder/ECD of Where Eagles Dare. “But we made it more modern by introducing both a girl and boy lead and having a variety of kids showcasing their style, all set in and around a school as if the kids are running the town for a moment and doing an improvised version of the song.”

In addition to the video, Gymboree is launching a custom interactive mobile app called “Made You Smile” (available for both iPhone and Android). Created in partnership by Where Eagles Dare and space150, the app includes a “Smile Generator” and lets users create their own animated characters, producing shareable content that unlocks a layer of augmented reality to bring Gymboree’s new graphic tees to life.

App users will have the opportunity to enter weekly drawings in Gymboree’s Surprize Surprize Sweepstakes for a chance to win amazing prizes such as a trip to New York City or a new car, as well as instant win prizes while they shop in store.

New apps for Gymboree

Gymboree has also partnered with Color Factory to create an immersive experience for the whole family. Open to the public on August 20, 2018 in New York City, Gymboree and Color Factory worked with non-profit 826NYC to create a room within the Color Factory exhibit that will feature an ombre floating balloon installation and children’s wishes for the future.

Color Factory, a collaboratively-produced art experience, brings together talented artists, creatives and makers to conceptualize and collaborate on participatory, color-inspired installations.

The initial campaign will run through Labor Day. Gymboree’s “Made You Smile” platform will continue to evolve into the fall and winter, offering new content via its mobile app and digital channels.

The campaign utilizes fresh content, shareable experiences and entertainment and successfully showcases the new collection and announces Gymboree’s changes to existing customers, who may have grown bored with the chain. The goal was simple: Make people smile and spread happiness.

For this reviewer, mission accomplished. Rickroll me anytime.

CLIENT: Gymboree

Client: Gymboree
   Dan Griesemer, President and CEO
   Tina Canales, SVP, General Manager
   Dean Silbersak, VP, Brand Creative
   Parnell Eagle, SVP, Marketing + Ecommerce

Agency: Where Eagles Dare
   Brian Franks, Founder/Executive Creative Director
   Zam Cadden, Creative Director
   Colby Vagley, Project Manager
   Sarah Karwoski, Senior Designer
   Melanie McCluskey, Copywriter

App created and developed with space150

Video Produced with PF100
   Barry Sonders, Executive Producer, PF100
   Bruno Miotto, Director

Source: KBPR

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.