Old Navy's Flip-Flops for Tweets
As a promotion leading up to its annual in-store $1 flip-flop sale, American clothing retailer Old Navy sold the summer shoes in exchange for tweets. The footwear was distributed through strategically placed custom vending machines in New York and Los Angeles that accepted the social currency as payment.
The ‘Tweet for Your Feet’ campaign employed vending machines equipped with screens on which users crafted and sent a tweet using pre-defined hashtags and phrases. Once successfully posted online, the machine dispensed one pair of sandals per Twitter handle in the user’s specified size.
Thirty-six machines were created by Ohio-based company Innovative Vending Solutions for the promotion, which ran from June 24-26. Changing locations on a daily basis, fans could locate the machines by checking Old Navy’s official Twitter account and searching the hashtag #flipfliphooray. Around 9,000 pairs were available for the promotion, garnering the retailer about 9,000 tweets.
“No-one has pushed this type of retail before,” explained Old Navy chief marketing officer Ivan Wicksteed. “We are taking our flip-flops out to the people, and putting them in places where people actually need flip-flops.”
In LA, the machines were found at spots including Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and Raging Waters water park. New Yorkers picked up flip-flops at Chelsea Piers, the South Street Seaport, and the Hampton Jitney bus stop – all prime summer activity destinations.
For more on responsive retailing, see the Ugg’s Responsive Retail blog post. For more on social media-focused retail strategies, see The Social Sell in the Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend, Social Media Seduction and Marc Jacobs' Daisy Tweet Shop. For more on innovative vending machine formats, see Vend: New Generation Retail Automation and Future Food Vending.