Why did Gap do a big deal with Facebook today, giving away 10,000 pairs jeans and 40%-off discounts to Facebook users?Depending on whom you ask, you may hear answers like “brand lift,” “lead generation,” “getting people in the store,” “partnering with strategic partners,” or straight-up “social media experimentation.”
These are all valid answers. Heck, we even bought some 40%-off jeans today. (And — free bonus — Gap got everyone to forget about its ugly logo fiasco.)
But the REAL reason companies do this sort of stuff is to look forward-thinking, smart, and cutting-edge — to their customers and in the press.
It’s articles like this one on Fast Company‘s website — “Facebook Places ‘Deals’ Gap a Huge Success” — that marketing execs salivate over and spend big bucks for.
The whole PR kick is a big reason reason that a lot of these big deals happen in the first place, even if they do drive some sales, too.
(Gap specifically isn’t shy with the discounts right now, looking to drive store visits. When we made our purchase today, we got a booklet with 40%-off coupons valid each Thursday in November.)
Similarly, when we were talking to one of Apple’s early iAd advertisers, we asked what they were hoping to get out of it: More sales, app downloads, web traffic, what?
Nope, not really. The company mostly seemed to want to look like they were on the cutting edge, testing new platforms for the sake of testing new platforms.
Hey, if you can afford it, that’s awesome. But let’s not kid ourselves about what’s driving a lot of these deals.