Gap Pushes Out-of-Home Ads

Gap-Store-B2With consumer attention dwindling in top markets, Gap has used new and innovative forms of out-of-home media this year to get noticed. That’s according to Chris Gayton, senior director marketing and brand management at Gap Inc.

“In 2012, we came back to out-of-home,” said Gayton, speaking at an OOH event presented by the Advertising Club of New York Wednesday. As a digital medium, the data is rich, he said, and it provides a “great story telling platform,” that the company uses to make consumers aware of the breadth of the company’s products.

Gayton also noted that the company’s research showed that Millennials, a core target of the company, are some of the largest consumers of OOH media.

The company was the first advertiser to appear on the front of New York subway entry cards—a program that was initiated in October. The ads offered a 20% coupon, and the program generated a huge amount of earned media from press coverage of the program. “We had no idea it would as big as it was,” said Gayton, who added that the coupon redemptions alone paid for the expense of putting on the campaign.

The company is also tying social media to OOH to get consumers excited about the brand during its holiday campaign. Posters in New York encourage passers-by to tweet photos to a certain hash tag and the pictures are then displayed on a giant digital billboard in Times Square.  The company used the same approach earlier in the year when it re-launched its flagship 34th Street store in New York City.

Earlier this year, it worked with Titan Communications to create a bus shelter campaign that provided offers that were specific to individual smart phones, complete with directions to the nearest Gap store.

Gayton also said told the Advertising Club audience that the company increased its usage of cinema ads this year. Part of that effort included persuading theater owners to allow it to include a call-to-action via phone text in a campaign kicking off later this month. Given the great lengths that theaters go to to get movie goers to turn off their phones during the movie that was no small feat, said Gayton. “It took us a year to get that in place,” he said.

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