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Gap gears up for summer with time-sensitive mobile advertising campaign

Gap is using the mobile campaign to promote its summer dresses that are on sale. Mobile advertising has played a big role for Gap in the past in driving quick sales.

“While time-sensitive ads aren’t particularly user-friendly, they are absolutely perfect for retailers as they not only create a sense of anxiety about not using them, but they also promote traffic to their stores and allow retailers to benefit from auxiliary purchases that those users make when they visit,” said Mike DiMarco, director of media at FiddleFly, Columbia, MD.

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

Gap did not respond to press inquiries.

In-store sales
Gap is running both banner and expandable ad units within the Pandora iPhone application.

Copy for the ad read, “30% off dresses now thru Wednesday. In stores now” next to a Gap logo.

When consumers tap on the ad, they are directed to a landing page that contains the offer and information about which items the offer applies to.

Additionally, there is a button that lets consumers share the link to friends and family via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Social media and mobile go hand-in-hand, and by enabling users to share the content Gap is able to extend the reach of its offer.

There is also a photo gallery loaded into the ad that lets users swipe through different dresses that the offer can be applied to.

Below the image are buttons to find the item in a particular store or share it across Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook. Users can also click-through to shop from Gap’s mobile site.

Mobile past
Gap has used mobile advertising in the past to drive in-store traffic and revenue.

For example, the brand ran a two-week location-based mobile campaign last year in Chicago, New York and San Francisco (see story).

Additionally, the company has invested significantly in the mobile commerce space.

Gap was one of the first brands to test Google Wallet in San Francisco locations in 2011 (see story).

In this case, the ad is a great way for Gap to drive in-store traffic.

However, since the campaign is time-sensitive, the ads lacks an emphais on finding a nearby store.

“Ideally a time-sensitive ad like this would also be connected to a location-based or geo-fenced technology that only pushes the ad when users are near stores,” Mr. DiMarco said.

“In lieu of that however, giving users the hurdle of time-sensitivity is already asking them to do some work, so making it as easy as possible for them to take the desired action you promote is crucial,” he said.

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