GAP: Turning shopping on its head

Isn’t this brilliant? I thought so. It’s from a few months back now but no they aren’t a client, lets get that out of the way first.

To announce and promote their customer loyalty programme Sprize, the GAP store  in Vancouver, BC completely flipped everything upside down and adhering to their tagline rather nicely of turning shopping on its head. This I like.  So all of the mannequins, displays and signs were flipped, as well as some cars and a hot dog stand outside of the store. Brilliant.

It seems to me like a clever customer retention tool and keeping those existing customers happy. I think its only open in Canada at the moment but they can sign up for a free Sprize account at participating Gap stores for an opportunity to collect SprizeMoney. Put simply, if you buy a shirt at £25 and within 45 days it goes down in price then you get credited to your account the difference. Now thats something I’d sign up to for sure. Isn’t it annoying when you buy something full price for it to be discounted some weeks later?

This is smart because the idea / hope is that people will return to GAP more often to see what they can get for their Sprizemoney and undoubtedly pick up a few more purchases than they had intended. Potentially increasing footfall and volume of purchases.

Nice.

Via PSFK and Suite 101

Wal-Mart Concocts Fake Community Group to Gain Chicago Support

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Proving that blog comments can be just as invaluable as they are insipid, Chicagoist scribe Kevin Robertson unearthed a potentially nefarious Wal-Mart plot in his hometown. After a certain commenter by the name of “Chatham” began regularly taking issue with Wal-Mart opponents on various Robertson posts about the brand’s attempt to enter the Chicago retail market, the author decided to take a closer look at who this character was.

Robertson traced the URL attached to Chatham’s comments back to a community group called “Our Community, Our Choice”, which seemed to sincerely support a Wal-Mart opening in the area. On the bottom of their site, the group states that it’s “proudly supported by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce”, which Wal-Mart happens to be a member of. Robertson also traced the IP address on Chatham’s comments back to Serafin and Associates, a Chicago consulting firm that Wal-Mart retained to manage its Chicago PR.

After doing a little digging and getting nowhere with Wal-Mart flack, Robertson finally interviewed Chicagoland’s Government Relations Director Michael Mini. While admitting that Serafin was involved in strategy sessions and that “Our Community, Our Choice” was “part of our advocacy effort to gain support”, Mini was basically struggling for words when asked if he knew Serafin’s IP address was being used to comment on blogs. In fact, the guy couldn’t even give a straight answer as to whether or not he was actually from Chicago.

Robertson says:

“While Wal-Mart certainly has the right make its case to Chicago, the way they’ve gone about this – creating a fake community group that purports to represent a community’s residents and interests – is sneaky and underhanded. If what they have to offer Chicago is such a great deal, why did they need to go through the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to set up a bogus grassroots group?”

This is all technically speculation since Wal-Mart hasn’t come forth to cop to any such travshamockery, but should we be so shocked if it is 100% true?

Words fail me. “Amazing” like @whatleydude rightly says.

Big Al’s Dixons Advertising Parody..

You know you’re campaign is a success when it’s being ripped off. This little number is great, following in Dixons footsteps and rather funny it is too.

Good idea and well timed. The only thing I wondered, when was creativer ever a word?

Dixons Parody

Heralding a new era of social gaming..

I noticed this rather bullish full page advert from Microsoft in a recent issue of MCV and it struck me that we’re now entering in to a new era of social gaming. The potential is limitless.

Before it’s even available for gamers to try out today, the functionality with Twitter and Facebook on the 360 is being talked up, and talked up it should. This cannot be underestimated. It’s bringing social networking in to your living room and on your TV.  It’s also a huge USP for the Xbox 360 in it’s ongoing and bloody battle against the Playstation 3. The launch of the PS3 Slim was timely met by Microsoft with a price cut of their own and puts the ball back in Sony’s court.

For social networking to now be a selling point on a games console shows how far it’s come. This is great news for Facebook and Twitter (perhaps more so for Twitter) because it takes it to another level, that bit more mainstream. Everyone uses Facebook, Twitter is still a nice communications tool. It might help more people understand it and ‘get’ it.

Little is known how they are going to look on your TV screen and how they are going to connect to your gaming experience and whilst I hope my feeds are not going to be spammed by friends who have just gained achievement X on game X, it shows that gaming is no longer something that’s done by a stereotypically aged male in a darkened room. They are now the entertainment hubs, in your living room and providing fun for all the family.

Social Gaming