Gap Runs First Social Campaign for Kids’ Accounts

UGC drives model search for 2015 campaign

It’s back-to-school time, which means moms are already gearing up to take those first-day-of school pictures (which are equally loved and dreaded by social media users nowadays). Gap Kids is looking to capitalize on the expected flood of social photos this year with its first contest devoted to its Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram accounts that were launched earlier this summer.

The Gap Kids Class of 2014 campaign is the latest iteration of its Casting Call program, where parents submit their children to be featured in Gap’s marketing. The effort asks parents to upload three photos of their child via Instagram, Facebook, a desktop or a mobile phone to be included in a 2015 campaign.

The global promo runs through Sept. 15. After parents submit their pictures, they are emailed a 15-second video that looks like a Gap commercial that can then be shared via social media.

After Sept. 15, a panel of Gap judges will select 16 winners, who will receive a roundtrip to New York, London or Tokyo later this year for a photo shoot that will be utilized to style the retailer’s window displays in 2015.

The Gap Kids social accounts were opened on July 28. The brand now has 10,900 Twitter, 1,212 Pinterest and 42,800 Instagram followers. Gap has more than 453,000 Instagram, about 77,700 Pinterest and 437,000 Twitter followers for its flagship brand.

"Our goal was to create an online community and digital destination for like-minded mothers and people with an affinity for all things cute," said Tricia Nichols, Gap’s global senior director of consumer engagement. "After years of publishing kids and baby content through our Gap channels, we had adequate and convincing data to direct us to these specific platforms. Twitter allows the opportunity for one-on-one dialogue, conversation and brand storytelling, while Pinterest and Instagram offer the chance to visually communicate and inspire."

How Other Retailers Approach Social Accounts

While Gap decided to set up designated social accounts for its children line, other retailers are split between creating kid-separate pages and lumping digital efforts into broader-reaching accounts.

For example, Abercrombie Kids also has specific social media channels with 16,000 Twitter and more than 56,000 Instagram followers. Those numbers are significantly smaller than the social engagement for the core Abercrombie & Fitch brand, though. Abercrombie & Fitch has 585,000 Twitter followers and more than one million on Instagram.

On the other hand, J.Crew and Marc Jacobs combine social media efforts for its kid and regular brands. J.Crew’s Instagram account regularly posts images of its children’s wear and counts more than 586,000 followers. On Twitter, J.Crew has 283,000 followers.

Marc Jacobs similarly pushes social posts about its Little Marc Jacobs line to its main social channels. The brand has 1.68 million Twitter followers under the Marc Jacobs account and 10,500 on its Marc by Marc Jacobs account.

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