Social media campaign was a hit and entirely real
By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor
Instagram was flooded last week, as social media savvy users were reposting and hashtagging Tsawwassen Mills store Instagram accounts in the hopes that they would receive free gift cards.
Many of the accounts featured one of the stores in the new mall, and claimed that for the first few hundred followers free gift cards of a certain value would be given out.
The card values ranged from $75–300, and the follower limit for winners reached as high as 5,000 in some cases.
“My boyfriend didn’t believe it was real,” said gift card winner Janie Waytlie, “but I figured hey, it doesn’t hurt to try, right?”
Waytlie decided to throw caution to the wind, and reposted screenshotted images of five different Tsawwassen Mills store accounts in the hopes that she would cash in.
“I ended up with roughly $1,100 in gift cards,” Waytlie said. “My boyfriend was so shocked! He couldn’t believe it when they started showing up at our door. Flown in by drones, of all things. One of the stores doesn’t even have a location in that mall, apparently, but they still managed to get the money to my address.”
Waytlie was only one of thousands of Instagram users that hit the jackpot with the new mall’s Instagram campaign. Many users reposted numerous accounts in the hopes of winning free stuff, and none of them were disappointed.
“I actually reposted three different H&M accounts, hoping that at least one of them was real,” said clothing enthusiast Jessica Rowler. “I was amazed to find out that all three were completely, 100 per cent real! I now have $600 to spend at H&M!”
Rowler said that a lot of her friends were angry at her for clogging up their feeds with what they considered to be absolute BS, but that they are now eating their words. “I don’t get what they don’t understand about why stores would want to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get some social media attention, it’s obviously foolproof.”
Jeff Henderson, mall manager and mastermind behind the campaign, said that it was a foolproof plan to both get the Tsawwassen Mills name out into social media, and to bring people into the new stores. “I figured that advertising is pretty expensive, right? So why not just get our shoppers to do that footwork for us!”
Henderson lost his job shortly after interviewing with the Other Press, as every store in the mall was stripped of merchandise, with not a single dollar being spent by customers.