If you were in Union Square last Saturday, you probably saw the 10 – ton ice block sitting on the northern side of it….with dozens of pairs of flip flops frozen in it. Surrounded by cameras, hulla-hoopers and “Funployees”, this spectacle caused quite the commotion. And rightfully so. It’s Old Navy‘s campaign “Summer Fun Can’t Get Here Fast Enough”.
Anyone who wanted to could go up to the ice block, and try to melt it enough to get a pair of flip-flops out – which were free. Although the Funployees claimed retail value of them was only $3.99, the principal motivated many people to work hard to get their pair. And for those who gave up, many of them said they would just buy a pair, at the Old Navy a mere 5 minutes walk away.
Although I don’t know how successful this campaign ultimately was, it did seem like many opted to go to the store to buy them, where they might of course by other items while there. And for those who did get a free pair, they also got a tag on the shoes prompting them to “RSVP to Everything”. This event had its own hashtag, #flipflopblock and numerous people were uploading and sending pictures.The name itself was very fitting – as trying to melt the ice to get the shoes created a sense of urgency, and reinforced the sentiment. This was partially due to the fact that could only use your hands to melt the ice, so you really couldn’t get the shoes quickly enough. Granted, I had a homeless man offer to help me, and he smashed his cane into the block to break the ice. So my experience was a little unconventional. But nevertheless, well done Old Navy – you got me talking and I think of this every time I see my new pair of flip flops.