Macala Wright: How Gap Is Winning With Mobile Millennials

Macala Wright: How Gap Is Winning With Mobile Millennials

GAP's SMS x Passbook Offer campaign see success in mobile marketing in North America.

Macala Wright
  • 27 january 2014

In the past year, the focus of marketing to Gen X has shifted to Gen Y, given the consumer spending power of growing group. Marketing to them given is at the forefront of every marketer’s mind. And we’re looking for examples of creative approaches to marketing that don’t require completely reinventing the wheel and can always help our end of the year bottom lines.

Over the Holiday, GAP secretly launched an unorthodox SMS x Passbook Offer campaign to support their current “Make Love” campaign. Partnering with holiday travel providers and destinations such as Southwest Airlines, Aloft Hotels, Bliss Spa, Barnes and Noble and DreamDry, the company aimed to show up to a new customer base in a new way. With these partners, GAP seeded ‘Love Notes’ that have a SMS prompt to text a short code. Mobile then receive a mobile link to an exclusive offer from Gap, which you can seamlessly save to Passbook Offers.

Rachel Tipograph, Director, Global Digital and Social Media and Olivia Doyne, Senior Director, Global & North America Marketing for GAP shared their insights on mobile marketing when targeting constantly moving consumers.

How effective was “Make Love” campaign overall?

Gap brand is synonymous with the holiday season. Our “Make Love” campaign continued the tradition of inspiring our employees and consumers to create acts of love within their communities. This year we saw it in a big way with the world’s positive reaction on Twitter and across the airways. Love Connections campaign drove the highest SMS engagement we’ve seen in North America.

How did the partner marketing aspects affect campaign success?

Our SMS x Passbook offer “Make Love” campaign was developed to engage likeminded brands to reach a new consumer in an unconventional manner. Delivering unexpected “love notes” to surprise partners’ customers was an idea many were excited to experiment with. Our partners were the heart of the program— it was a way for them to surprise and delight their customers in an unconventional way. Throughout the course of the three-week program, we heard very positive feedback from our partners—their customers thought the love notes were fun and clever. Additionally, we worked with several of our partners to offer Gap customers some special treats—for example, two free drinks for Aloft Hotel guests when booking during Love Connections program dates and 15 percent off any new NOOK at Barnes & Noble.

What was the impact of using SMS and the Passbook offer on GAP’s mobile, millennial audience?

Our partners engage with customers in physical, digital and transient environments. The core device and consumer behavior across all partners and at Gap is our use of mobile phones. Using SMS as the mechanism allowed us to engage with as many consumers as possible, and by leveraging Passbook Offers, we were able to make coupon redemption seamless for iPhone users.


What are three things retail brands need to consider as part of their mobile marketing strategy in order to be successful?

  1. First is contextual value. If you’re not delivering an offer of value at a contextual point in time (geo-location, weather, cultural moment, spend habits), no one is going to engage with your offer in mobile.
  2. Second is utility. Your communication with consumers in mobile must be seamless and integrate with as many useful applications as possible. Asking people to change their behavior, download a new app is a huge hurdle.
  3. Third is personal entertainment. Mobile is a “me” environment. You do everything with it, including your primary device for entertainment consumption. Ensure you’re producing content and experiences that can hold someone’s attention against the competition which is not limited to your business competitors but literally any action a consumer might use their mobile phone for.

What are two things they need to take into consideration for marketing specifically to millennials and mobile marketing strategy?

  1. Mobile shouldn’t be perceived as a tangential strategy to everything else you’re doing. Mobile needs to be the core of all strategies when engaging with millennials.
  2. Audiences are fragmented across the mobile web and applications unlike TV in which you can “own time” around a specific program. Partnerships are key to acquiring and engaging new audiences.

How does timing and planning effect campaign success during peak retail times such as the holidays?

The holidays are the most competitive time of year for marketers. It’s important to have an integrated message across all channels, so you don’t further dilute your voice. Consumer behaviors and media consumption patterns also shift season to season, so designing programs and partnerships that make sense based on these changes are key.


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Today

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Today

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Today

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Today

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Related Expert

Mick Ebeling

Development, Health, Community

Travel Today

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Today

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Today

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Work Today

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Advertising Today

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Today

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Today

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Today

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Today

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Today

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

No search results found.