Gap looks to grow e-mail list with Casting Call contest

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Gap has narrowed the list of entrants in its “Casting Call” contest to 20 finalists. The retailer is using the initiative to grow its e-mail database.

Consumers can vote online for their favorite baby boy or girl to appear in a Baby Gap ad and a Gap Kids in-store ad. Gap is partnering with on the effort, which mainly targets parents.

Parents were able to submit photos of their children on Gap's Web site from September 22 to October 22, after which the company selected five children from each category to attend a photo shoot in San Francisco. Kimberly Terry, senior manager of engagement marketing and PR for Gap, said the company received nearly 1 million entries.

Voting polls will be open at until December 21, during which time users can vote online for their favorites in each category. To vote, users must submit registration information, including name, e-mail address and zip code. Users can also opt out of receiving e-mailed newsletters and promotions from Gap, and other brands within Gap Inc., as well as and other Walt Disney Co. businesses.

“Disney Family is a great partner when it comes to reaching moms and getting new moms into the game for us,” Terry said.

She added the amount of e-mail messages distributed by Gap Inc. varies based on season, brand and which promotions are taking place at the time.

Gap is also promoting the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. “We also used a tell-a-friend feature during the entry period where once a user uploaded a picture, they were given the option to post the entry to Facebook,” Terry said. “We've actually learned that Facebook is a big driver to the campaign.”

During the entry period, ads promoting the effort also ran across Disney Family's group of Web sites.

Gap will announce the winners on February 4. They will be featured in a window ad in all Baby Gap and Gap Kids stores nationwide.

“This is just a really unique way for parents to engage with the brand,” said Terry.

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