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Old Navy matches flip-flops to emoji use in summer promotion

Old Navy’s summer campaign puts a new spin on emojis with a mobile-optimized site that predicts shoppers’ perfect pair of flip-flops based on their icon use.

The apparel retailer developed a mobile-optimized emoji generator site to have fun with consumers this summer and is encouraging them to get involved by offering them a chance to win a free pair of flip-flops or a vacation. After determining which flip-flops and vacation best fit the user’s mood based off of emojis, Old Navy then features apparel-choices that coincide with the pair and destination.

“Engaging customers with the fun and interactive emoji micro site enables Old Navy to create a more intimate relationship with its customers,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “The emoji contest, which promotes the $1 flip flop sale on June 20th, will drive significant traffic to its stores and result in incremental shopping impulse purchases.

“The exposure of this promotion will be dramatically proliferated as participants share the game with their friends on Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

Mobile mood ring
The Old Navy Emoodji site integrates with users’ social media accounts to generate which emojis the consumer uses most. From there, the site acts as a mood ring and chooses a pair of flips flops and a vacation location to match.

Users share the results on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win the vacation. To win the flip-flops 1,000 users are picked at random while playing on the Emoodji site within the first 20 days.

To drive sales of summer apparel, the retailer pairs merchandise that coincides with the results of the generator in the form of a banner ad. To purchase the merchandise consumers can seamlessly click the link directed to Old Navy’s Web site.

The retailer is advertising its unique mobile endeavor through all social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook with a video that showcases the site, postcards of potential vacation destinations and an emoji animation.

For fun, users can also input their favorite celebrity or friends social media accounts to see which emojis other individuals use most.

To continue to drive sales throughout the summer, Old Navy is holding its annual flip-flop sale, offering flip-flops for only a dollar in stores. A countdown to the sale is featured on the mobile site as well as a store locator to generate Old Navy locations within the consumer’s area.

The flip-flop sale concludes the contest and is the last day entries will be accepted.

Old Navy is also connecting to consumers through SMS and text messaging. Consumers can text EMOJI to receive offers and deals throughout the summer season. The Emoodji site is also prompting consumers to sign up for its email program as another option to receive deals.

Modern marketing
The retailer is keen to leverage unique and new marketing and commerce capabilities on social media and mobile platforms. Recently, it engaged millennials by showcasing its new spring line on microblogging social media application Tumblr and its Yahoo parent (see more).

Also, Old Navy’s parent company, Gap brought its limited-edition artist collection to mobile shopping application Spring to drive sales with younger demographics and develop a trendier image (see more).

“Emojis have become pervasive across social media platforms as a way for people to communicate their feelings and personalities,” Mr. Naumann said. “Using emojis for the Old Navy contest is a unique and entertaining way to emotionally engage customers with the brand.

“The Old Navy emoji contest is a creative form of gamification,” he said. “Gamification is a growing trend as, according to our recent CRM Survey, 87 percent of retailers plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years.

“Retailers’ wide-spread focus engaging consumers via games is driven by the goal to increase loyalty and sales.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily