I can't wait to read the posts from Mashable or the Trade News rubber stamping Saturday's stunt as a resounding vote of confidence in Facebook Places by GAP giving away 10,000 jeans. If you came in Saturday, showed you were a Fan of the GAP and checked in with Places you could get a free pair of jeans while supplies last.
First off, I will bet anyone that Facebook paid for this. That it was zero risk to the GAP. Think about it. At $15 a pair for a measly $150k they are going to get all this free publicity, they will get 10,000 to 15,000 Places Check ins, and then be able to crow about success. And GAP get's an ancillary sales.
Why is this a fraud? GAP has over 1,000 stores. That comes down to only 10 Jeans per store. Fast Company wrote this BULLSHIT piece on Saturday LINK that it was a success. Well when they visited the store, they were EMPTY of shoppers. GAP gave them no data on if people bought other products. It was a $30 to $40 bribe to people. I will check into every store in my town if they bribed me like that. wouldn't you?
I checked GAP's Facebook Fan Page. I wish I had written it down but I am pretty sure they had just over 900,000 fans Saturday, but now only 890,000. Did people Fan/Check in then leave after not wanting any GAP posts in their stream? They would need 90,000 people showing up just to have 10% of their Fans come to the stores. I am sure GAP's customer base in the US is in the Tens of Millions.
I am not going to say the stunt was not successful for GAP. If Facebook paid them for the give away, any extra sales is a bonus. They seemed to have reached about 10,000+ people via Facebook in the 3 days leading up to the sale which was free vs reaching a few million with a TV spot and spending a few hundred thousand.
But is this a validation of Facebook Places? Absolutely not!
Update: A better review from GigaOm on the event LINK
Seems like it wasn't the success Fast Company was so Fast to write about. Kudos to GigaOm for having critical think and analysis.