Gap turns shopping on its head with clever PR stunt

I am a few months late on this, but Gap in Canada has created a very clever PR stunt to launch its new customer loyalty program Sprize (I am assuming this is meant to reference the word Surprise).

The loyalty program basically provides members with cashback instore credit if an item of clothing they buy is reduced 45 days after the purchase date. This means, if I buy a pair of jeans for $100 on 1 July and then Gap reduces those jeans on 1 August to $50, my Sprize account is credited with $50 of instore credit. The loyalty program is currently being trialled in ten stores in Canada. You can read more about it here if you like.

I really like this loyalty program because it makes a commitment to loyal customers by promising not to undercut the full price items they purchase. It also in effect gives members a 45 day leg up on everyday customers when the obvious sales periods approach.

However, it was the PR stunt that brought all of this to my attention.

The tagline for Sprize is turning shopping on its head, so what did Gap do to launch the scheme? They turned large chunks of the store upside down, hired actors to walk on their hands on what appears to be freezing ground and even flipped a couple of cars out the front. Pretty simple when you think about it, but as I have said before the best stunt typically are pretty simple.

gap Gap turns shopping on its head with clever PR stunt

What I wanted to call out in particular is the way that Gap approached this. Five years ago perhaps the stunt idea would have been the same, but the PR team would have relied solely on the media to create the awareness, but not today.

Gap created their own Youtube Channel and created their own content (the video above), which they have full control over, unlike the situation when you invite media to cover something. Further with the magic of Google and keywords when I searched ‘gap + turning shopping on its head’ it was the Gap made video – ahead of all other video news outlets, which was delivered.

Sadly however it appears Gap hasn’t done a good job of linking this content through its other online properties. Stangely it doesn’t appear to be posted on the Facebook Gap fanpage with more than 500,000 fans, nor is it present on the Gap Youtube channel (which also seems very underutilised). It is perhaps because of this poor integration with other online properties that the video only achieved 35,000 views. I suspect it is also this lack of integration why the other videos on the channel have such low views.

All in all an interesting campaign. The Sprize Loyalty Group is good and truly delivers on the promiose of rewarding loyalty, the PR stunt was simple and effective, the creation of the content video content at the top of this post was good and en effective length in my opinion, but it seems the syndication across Gap properties affected its viral results.

Perhaps Gap may have wanted to contain this, given it was such a small trial in Canada, but if that was the case why did they upload content at all to the web?

What do you reckon?

HT to Michael Litman and his Posterous – where I saw this.If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you\’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .

Holiday Inn genrates PR with clever stunt

bedwarmers Holiday Inn genrates PR with clever stunt

Holiday Inn in the UK is offering is offering a human bed warming service.

According to an article on Wired:

The Holiday Inn, which operates over 4,000 hotels worldwide, will offer a “human bed-warming service” for the next week to help keep guests stay warm inside, whilst it gets colder outside. This literally involves employees laying in your bed for five minutes before you get in.

I think it is Frank that does the PR for Holiday Inn, but it is not listed on its website. Let me know who did this if you know.

In my mind this is a clever stunt that no doubt has generated a tonne of coverage for them.

As with everything like this, it seems so simple when it has been done, but it is far from simple coming up with something like this.

A clever idea no doubt, but would you let a hotel emplyee warm your bed for you? Maybe it depends on how good looking they are?

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Nudity and PR

A nice little PR stunt here for no pants day – an initiative organised by a group called Improv Everywhere. The group claims its mission is to cause ‘scenes of chaos and joy in public places’ according to The Daily Mail.

I never fail to be amazed at the media’s desire to run a story that includes visuals of people nude/semi nude or even hinting at nude. Not that I think the journalists are idiots – you only have to look at what stories are most clicked to see that us readers love anything to do with sex, nudity etc.

For example check out what are the top five read stories on smh.com.au at the time of posting:

1.  MP dumped after teenage sex scandal
2. Sex murder trial: MP’s niece ‘horrified’ by what she’s done
3. Woman drives home with body lodged in windscreen: police
4. Sydney’s night of the knife: one charged
5. Doctor struck off for prescribing drugs without seeing man

40% of the most read stories and the top two include the word sex.

Nothing earth shattering here obviously, but when planning your next PR stunt don’t forget the power of sex and the appeal of the nude form. Us media consumers, journalists and bloggers (hey it prompted this post) all love a little bit of titillation.If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you\’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .

Simon Cowell attempts PR stunt to shift negative media coverage

simon cowell Simon Cowell attempts PR stunt to shift negative media coverage

I am assuming by now you have all seen the news around how Rage Against The Machine staged a coup on the UK Christmas number one via a Facebook campaign, initiated by Jon and Tracey Mortimer.

Good result in my mind and the perfect way to stick it to Cowell. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything in particular against The X Factor and actually quite enjoyed watching it when in the UK, but it is hard to be on the side of a man who gets satisfaction out of being nasty to people on national TV.

Now, in an attempt to turn the media coverage, much of which focuses negatively on Cowell, he has offered Jon and Tracey Morter a job.

An interesting tactic, and potentially a good way to shift the media coverage, but boy kinda risky at the same time. Jon and Tracy have made it pretty clear that they are not fans of Cowell’s. The simplest way of putting the boot in now would be to shun his offer and start another embarrassing media cycle for The X Factor supremo.

One to definitely keep an eye on – it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have a feeling it will not be the result he wants and it will be recognised for what it is. A PR stunt.

What do you think? Clever PR or foolish stunt?

HT to one of my favourite PR men Trevor Yong for bringing this story to my attention.

lg share en Simon Cowell attempts PR stunt to shift negative media coverage

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Aircel dinghy advertisment saves lives

aircel 300x160 Aircel dinghy advertisment saves lives

Aircell dinghy advertising stunt

UPDATE

Drew in the comment box below has alerted me to the fact that I have linked this advertisement to Aircell, The US broadband provider, rather than Aircel, the Indian mobile provider. I have updated the post below.

ORIGINAL POST WITH EDITS

Aircell, an American airline broadband provider, Aircel, an Indian mobile company, has created quite a storm of late with a clever advertising and PR stunt in Mumbai India.

Working with Indian outdoor agency Primesite, Aircel booked an outdoor media billboard in Mumbai at a spot notorious for flooding. The advertisement featured a dingy attached by rope to the sign accompanied by the Aircel logo and the copy ‘In case of emergency cut rope’.

Once installed the clever people involved in the campaign sat back and waited until the rains started falling. Sure enough in the middle of the monsoon season the site flooded and flooded quickly. So quickly in fact that people were stranded at the location and the only way to get themselves to safety was to cut the rope on the bill board and paddle to safety in the Aircel boat.

A nice story isn’t it. You can view a photo essay of the stunt on this dedicated spot of the Aircel website. Like me you may notice that a few of the gentlemen saved were wearing Aircel t-shirts, and that the people don’t look that stranded, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I am not entirely sure how this ties back to broadband in the air, but it has me and This stunt has me and many others blogging about them, has built brand awareness through the media coverage it generated and no doubt would have been a hell of a lot of fun to be involved in. For those reasons I reckon it is a clever campaign.

My suggestion on extending it – auction off the boat on eBay and donate the funds to monsoon victims.

Hat tip to Lexy Klain for bringing this to my awareness.

lg share en Aircel dinghy advertisment saves lives

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