In the world of online and social media marketing, one creative and highly-praised move can erase all of your previous blunders. Take The Gap, for example. Just two months ago, the company was slaughtered, skewered and smoked on social media sites for their new logo. The reaction to the bland logo was as if the company had just announced they would start murdering little old ladies in their store windows. The company called the famously-butchered logo “a more contemporary, modern expression.” Facebookers were not having it, and they took to the company’s page to express their hatred for the logo. Gap buckled and changed back to the old one. Logo-gate seemed like it was the undoing for a company that had seen a steady slump in sales over the past decade.
But this was all before Project Reindeer.
Project Reindeer is the latest social media campaign by The Gap, and judging by the reaction it’s been getting, all is forgiven. The campaign gives a group of sassy reindeer control over what discounts Gap shoppers can receive every day leading up until Christmas. Reindeer Chloe, for example, won the deal of the day yesterday, so social media followers of Project Reindeer received any accessory at Gap for $5 bucks. The success of the project relies heavily on Twitter hashtags crafted for each of the reindeer while the Gap Facebook page announces the reindeer of the day.
It’s certainly a clever idea, even though like most Gap social media contests and specials, it is a little confusing and exhausting. Our take: By the time you’ve finished reading all of the layers of a Gap social media special, you could have printed off a coupon and driven to the store. In fact, shopaholics were ruffled earlier this year due to a confusing Facebook pages promotion. And while the company scored huge with Groupon, many complained that campaign was difficult to locate.
Not that the glitches matter much. We like seeing beleaguered brands take a fall and then re-emerge victorious. So Gap fits that bill nicely. Also, Gap should be applauded for taking risks and for trying every avenue social media has to offer.