Gap: Hip to be Square

US fashion retailer Gap is stepping up its commitment to check in phenomenon of the moment Foursquare by integrating the platform into its online banner ads. A series of gap Christmas promotions are inviting click throughs to the location-based social network via an “add to Foursquare” button.

The new banner ads are currently running across a number of Conde Nast online destinations, as well as Gawker and Mashable.  Those who choose to add the banner to Foursquare will see it placed on a 'to-do' list within their profile and be eligible for a 30% reduction on one regular item from the store. Gap will also donate $1 to the charity Camp Interactive (Foursquare’s charity of choice) for each ad that Foursquare receives.

The 'to-do' list function is the most interesting part of this campaign, as it will link the ad directly to a nearby Gap Store and remind the user once they are in the vicinity of the building, thereby giving the ad a second outing when it is needed most.

Gap has invested heavily in the associated benefits of Foursquare this year, having previously initiated a 25% 'Black Magic Event' discount via the service. Not only that but the brand has utilised the creators behind the check-in platform (co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadura) in its actual print ads as brand ambassadors for its 'Gap Want' campaign (see video below).

It’s an interesting twist that sees the relative unknowns to the wider retail community taking up a position normally reserved for musicians and film stars. We can probably thank the recent Facebook movie for this, as it catapults Internet pioneers into the limelight as the new aspirational role models.

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