Gap Sponsors New Partnership Between GetGlue, Entertainment Weekly

Adage Sep 16, 2011 Back to press

GetGlue Users Who Check in to EW-Recommended TV Series Can Claim a 40% Discount at Retailer

Social-networking site GetGlue is adding a new dimension to its existing partnership with Entertainment Weekly, rewarding users who check in to one of the publication's 12 recommended fall TV shows with virtual stickers they can redeem for a 40% discount on a regularly-priced item at adult Gap stores for the next month.

The Gap-sponsored promotion runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and the retailer has purchased pages in Entertainment Weekly and also made a digital buy on EW.com. Virtual stickers on GetGlue will be co-branded by the Gap and EW and can be unlocked for instructions on how to claim the discount.

Through the first partnership, launched last spring, GetGlue users could unlock EW editorial extras by checking into shows, music, movies and books that appeared on the publication's weekly "Must List." In an HTC-sponsored partnership over the summer, users of the site were eligible to win free movie tickets if they checked into EW's movie picks. This marks GetGlue's first partnership with a major retailer.

"Checking in from the couch and unlocking retail coupons is a big deal, and I think that's going to be a big part of social TV in the future," said Alex Iskold, founder and CEO of GetGlue, which says it had 11.5 million check-ins in August, a 130% increase since May, and 1.5 million total users. He also said that GetGlue has a revenue arrangement with Entertainment Weekly, where the venture-capital backed site is getting cash and ad space through the partnership.

GetGlue and EW declined to provide metrics resulting from their previous relationship but Mr. Iskold called it "an incredibly successful campaign by our standards."

"TV is the most popular vertical on EW.com, so the ability to check in and socialize around a show is a natural extension of what we do," said Fran Hauser, digital president for Time Inc.'s style and entertainment group. The 12 new shows chosen by the publication for the promotion include "The Playboy Club," "New Girl," "Charlie's Angels," "Once Upon a Time" and Pan Am."

This isn't the first time the Gap has shown itself willing to experiment with new digital marketing and sales strategies. It notably offered the first national Groupon deal in August 2010.

"We're always looking at ways to create engagement with our customers and really to reach young social influencers," said Chris Gayton, senior director of Gap's media and brand engagement. "So when I saw GetGlue starting to show up in my Facebook feed, I thought it was interesting. And rather than just earning a reward sticker, I thought wouldn't it be nice to have a reward there that's outside of the sticker?"

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