Yahoo spreading Gap Tidings

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Gap has teamed up with Yahoo for its new online ad campaign, found at gaptidings.yahoo.com. The microsite allows users to upload and post their own video holiday greetings as well as watch videos from other users. The site was built by Yahoo utilizing Gap's in-house creative operation.

“Yahoo worked very closely with Gap to help it refine the idea and then provided all the services in terms of building [the site] out and hosting it,” said Conn Fishburn, director of social media strategy for Yahoo.

The microsite, which features celebrity video greetings from Gap's holiday print ad campaign, sends e-mail notification to greeting recipients with a direct link to their video. Users can also vote for their favorite greetings. Winners will receive one of three limited edition Vespa LX50 scooters. Offline, a GapTidings mobile film studio will make stops between November 23 and December 12 around New York City shopping areas to record greetings.

“We really believe that marketing is a holistic practice,” Fishburn said. “It's not just about online versus offline, but really blending the two together in a seamless way.”

Users can also download Gap holiday e-mail signatures, desktop wallpaper and create a widget featuring a video for Facebook or MySpace pages. The site also integrates Yahoo's photo sharing site, Flickr, which displays photos from the mobile studio events.

Fishburn said the site is Gap's main online initiative for the year. It is driving traffic through media running across Yahoo, display media and keyword search during the holidays.

“We think [Gap is] a fantastic partner,” he said. “It's really a company that believes in experiential marketing and that's right in line with the types of things that we would like to do.”

Fishburn added that the site does more than promote brand awareness for Gap. “We're focusing a lot on how to make our e-mail capabilities more social,” he said.

While non-Yahoo members can receive and watch video greetings, Yahoo registration is required to post videos. Fishburn explained that because users are uploading content onto servers, they can't remain anonymous.

“Although, [increased membership] certainly is a welcome benefit,” he added.

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