To reach consumers and increase buzz around its annual $1 Flip Flop Sale, Old Navy implemented a playful take on the concept of social currency. The “Tweet for Your Feet,” campaign gave consumers the chance to get a complimentary pair of flip flops in select cities through a tweet-powered vending machine.
Objective and Context:
Old Navy, the popular clothing and accessories retailer, wanted to create a buzz-generating social media stunt to build awareness around their annual $1 Flip Flop Sale. The brand wanted to attract new consumers to this highly anticipated event while boosting sales across all product categories during the one-day promotion.
Old Navy is known as a fun, family-friendly brand that also caters to hip, young Millennials. The brand wanted to tap into an audience who normally won’t consider Old Navy on a daily basis and intercept them while they’re on their way to work or out with their friends on a summer night.
“Tweet for Your Feet” was a playful take on the concept of social currency. The campaign reimagined the vending machine for the mobile-first customer. At each vending machine, participants were encouraged to tweet their favorite place to vacation wearing Old Navy flip flops with the hashtag #FlipFlopHooray. Upon receiving registered tweets, vending machines immediately released complimentary flip flops to waiting consumers. Engagement was fun, fast, and fashionable.
For three days leading up to the sale, owned and leveraged social media channels directed digital-savvy participants to 36 vending machines set up throughout L.A., San Francisco, and New York City. Crowds swarmed machines at quintessential summertime destinations, including the 40th Street Hamptons Jitney Stop, the iconic Santa Monica Pier, and even a special appearance at the Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco.
Interest in the vending machines reached fever pitch as the attention, ignited by early coverage in People magazine, was fueled by influential advocates like YouTube sensation iJustine, Vine star Sara Hopkins, and supermodel Coco Rocha, and culminated with a branded segment on Jimmy Kimmel, featuring his sidekick Guillermo in a flip flop-themed skit.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Tweet for Your Feet became the most successful Old Navy social media campaign to date. For the first time since the promotion’s inception seven years ago, the brand also saw a lift in sales across all product categories, prompting plans to bring the program overseas to the Japanese market.
The whole campaign was based on the use of consumers’ mobile devices and social currency while driving trial in unexpected places. Mobile technology and development around the Twitter vending machines was a significant 65 percent of the budget. The other portion went to scouting locations and brand ambassadors.
The brand wanted to surprise and delight its customers while being relevant and useful. Not only were these vending machines visually disruptive and engaging, but they also served consumers with the right product in the right place at the right time. Adding social currency into the mix created a built-in sharing mechanism to drive conversation volume and buzz.
Social currency is both a fun and intriguing way to harness the power of social sharing and engage in a conversation with customers. With this activation, Old Navy tapped into a relevant conversation around the anticipation of summer and brought its product into the dialogue, prompting users to share upcoming summer plans including flip flops.
Old Navy’s annual $1 Flip Flop Sale is one of the brand’s biggest events of the year, driving significant traffic to stores. Hundreds of loyal customers wait in lines anticipating the start of the event. However, the highly attended events only drew focus on the value flip flops. Old Navy wanted to target a new customer this year and set to lift sales in other product categories within the store.
The bright and colorful vending machines grabbed consumers’ attention immediately, and brought significantly increased traffic to the partnered locations. Additionally, the brand exceeded objectives by creating a social media campaign that outperformed all other previous programming, including: