Tying into Facebook's Deals announcement last week, The Gap announced a promotion in which it offered free jeans to the first 10,000 people to check in to Gap outlets via Facebook. According to Fast Company, the promotion definitely met at least one of its objectives by generating awareness, interest and store visitation:
When I asked one store staffer whether any free jeans were left, she smiled and shook her head. The free jeans were long gone, she said, with lines stretching out the door since before the store opened at 8 a.m. People were actually showing their check-ins? Yes, she said. On Facebook Places!?! Yes.
Perhaps this store was the exception, I thought. But after calls to a slew of Gap stores in high-traffic New York City areas–Soho, the Financial District, Midtown–it appeared this was the norm. Every store worker I spoke with–only aware I was a potential customer–explained that the promotion had ended hours ago. Lines, they said, stretched out the doors, filled with eager-to-check-in customers. Many weren't sure of the exact number of free jeans offered before the 40%-off deal kicked in, but estimates were pegged between 50 to 100 for each store.
The promotion may have succeeded in generating PR, awareness and trials of Gap's jeans, but the question of what longer-term impact this may have for the brand remains. Will Gap be able to qualify who these customers were? Did they buy any other products while in store, or did they purely capitalize on the free denim? Will those customers remain, and did new customers consider the Gap as a result of their friends' experience and 'check in'? And was the cost of 10,000 pairs of free jeans worth it?
We'll keep our eyes out for additional word on the impact of this promotion.