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Gap capitalizes on iPad adoption to drive blogger-influenced sales

Gap’s new iPad advertising campaign shows retailers how to set up a commerce-enabled ad that emphasizes content to score conversions.

The specialty apparel retailer is running a content-heavy advertising campaign within the WeatherBug iPad application to drum up sales from edited products. Mobile advertising is nothing new for Gap, but the brand’s approach to simultaneously building up awareness about its blogging and social community is interesting with this campaign.

“ is a global community of fashion bloggers and shoppers who style Gap clothes with everything else in their wardrobes,” said Kari Shellhorn, spokeswoman at Gap, San Francisco.

“We’ve found that a vast majority of people who visit do so from their mobile phone,” she said. “That’s why mobile advertising is a good fit – it helps us engage our customers when they are on the go.”

Commerce-enabled inspiration is Gap’s fashion blogger program that pairs up the brand with popular fashion bloggers who take Gap clothes and style them in their own way.

Gap’s tablet ads show pictures of three different fashion bloggers next to copy that encourages consumers to learn more about how the influencers create their own look.

When consumers click on the banner ad, a full-page ad again shows the bloggers but also promotes a women’s fitted boyfriend shirt.

A second click-through on the ad brings up the Web site. The site is a running blog with posts from all of the bloggers.

Each post includes an image of how the blogger makes Gap’s clothes her own and includes a link where consumers can shop the item from the product page on the retailer’s Web site.

Gap’s mobile ad

Content-driven commerce
Gap has run multiple similar ads over the past few years, but this campaign’s intent is more about showing consumers how products fit into their day-to-day lives versus pushing time-sensitive deals.

Last year, Gap ran an ad within Pandora’s iPhone app to promote summer apparel with a time-sensitive offer (see story).

In 2012, the brand also ran a two-week campaign that geo-fenced bus shelters in Chicago, New York and San Francisco with an in-store coupon (see story).

Although the content-heavy approach may differ from Gap’s other mobile advertising initiatives, content plays a big role in Gap’s overall digital efforts.

For instance, Gap was the first brand to takeover Tumblr’s mobile ad products with a campaign for its fall 2013 collection last year that centered around user-generated content (see story).

Additionally, the larger size of this campaign on tablets lends itself well to commerce since the devices continually churn out higher conversion rates than smartphones.

“It’s about getting noticed, then providing compelling value that will sought, often for a brand like Gap on impulse,” said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based chief marketing officer at Mobivity.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Gap. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Tablet advertising makes sense given the shopping behavior on the larger screen, including time spent and the interest in making the interaction productive,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York