It was just recently that the brand faced some harsh social media backlash for changing it’s logo. Now, Gap’s diving into Facebook Places promotions. columnist Matt Carmichael has the inside scoop on how well they executed.

It’s 8:58 a.m. in Chicago and about 15 people are lined up outside the Gap on Michigan Ave. Each of them has a smartphone in hand. Some came in groups and are chatting with each other, some are listening to their iPhones. All of them are refreshing Facebook, ready to check in exactly two minutes from now to claim their prize: The first Facebook deal. The “first 10,000 customers” to check in at a Gap via Facebook Places today would receive a free pair of jeans worth up to $59.50, or 40% off any one item.

I went, partially to see how it would all work. And if I wound up with a free pair of pants, hey, I wasn’t going to complain. As someone soon to see his household grow from three to five, a bargain’s a bargain. When Gap offered the first national Groupon I bought in. I spent $25 for the Groupon and got $50 in Baby Gap clothes for the impending twins. Gap likely got no more than half of that money. The check-in cost me nothing. So for $25 I have now gotten $110 worth of Gap merchandise. You have to wonder what that’s doing to its margins.

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