Break the Chain Old Navy Gift Card Giveaway

Exclusive (8/18/2000) Despite the addition of a rather lengthy inspirational poem, the Old Navy Giveaway is no more true than the many other corporate giveaway hoaxes that have used this same tired formula.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

I don't know Old Navy from fresh Sailors...but here you go anyway.
HA!

Subject: I BETTER GET THIS BACK! It works!

MAKE SURE YOU READ THE "OLD NAVY" MESSAGE AT THE VERY BOTTOM!

* * Written with a pen. * *
* * Sealed with a kiss. * *
* * If you are my friend, *
* * please answer this: * *
* * Are we friends * *
* * Or are we not? * *
* * You told me once* * *
* * But I forgot. * * * *
* * So tell me now * *
* * And tell me true. * * *
* * So I can say.... * *
* * "I'm here**
* * Of all the friends *
* * I've ever met, * *
* * You're the one*
* * I won't forget. * * * *
* * And if I die* *
* * Before you do, * *
* * I'll go to heaven * * *
* * And wait for you.* * *
* * I'll give the angels *
* * Back their wings* * *
* * And risk **
* * Of everything.* * *
* * Just to prove my * *
* * friendship is true.. *
* * to have a friend like you!

SEND THIS TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND BACK TO THE PERSON WHO SENT IT TO YOU.

IF YOU GET IT BACK, THAT PERSON IS YOUR TRUE FRIEND.

OK YOU HAVE 1 MINUTE TO SEND THIS!

DEAR OLD NAVY SHOPPER

I AM LAURA THIMIS, THE FOUNDER OF OLD NAVY. AS YOU KNOW, THERE HAS BEEN SOME PROMOTION THINGS GOING ON WITH ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH AND THE GAP. NOW I WANT TO BE PART OF THE INTERNET PRMOTION "GIG". FOR EVERY 10 PEOPLE THAT YOU SEND THIS TO, YOU GET A FREE $25.00 GIFT CARD FOR ANY OLD NAVY STORE, IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, FROM THE U.S.A. TO CHINA, FROM ICELAND TO PARIS!! MAKE SURE THAT YOU SEND THIS TO LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE! AFTER YOU SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE, YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR FREE OLD NAVY GIFT CARD IN 2 -4 WEEKS!!!
WATCH THE MAIL!

Thank You!!

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

The last part of this message is just a variation on several other hoaxes that have been circulating for over a year now. Like this one, many claim to have been written by the founder, CEO, or some other important person in the company. Second, they usually point out that other "competing" companies have been testing the benefits of e-mail marketing. Next, they promise that you will receive something in return for simply forwarding the e-mail message to lots of people.

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Laura Thimis, if she exists at all, is not the founder of Old Navy. Old Navy is a subsidiary of The Gap (not a competitor, as the letter implies) and was originally spun off under the name "the Gap Warehouse." Full details of the company's history and leadership can be found at the Old Navy Web site. Yes, similar offers have been circulated bearing the names of Abercrombie and Fitch and the Gap, but they are just as false as this one.

In addition, what the message claims is impossible. How will they know how many people you sent it to? E-mail cannot be tracked in that way. Also, they imply that once you send it to at least 10 people, your card will automatically arrive in 2-4 weeks. How do they know where to send it? Wouldn't it frighten you just a little if a company could easily acquire your mailing address by tracking your forwarded e-mails?

This offer is not legitimate. Companies like Old Navy, the Gap, and any of the other victims of these hoaxes, don't do business this way. As a a marketing tool, e-mail sucks. Yeah, it's inexpensive, but it's also impossible to target or track -- Two important aspects of corporate marketing strategies. For more specific details on this hoax and the others like it, check out About.com's Article.

I can't quite figure out why someone combined these two items. The friendship chain letters are fairly innocuous - you either want to send them, or you don't - so Break the Chain typically ignores them. We suspect the poem might have been added to this message to keep people from instantly deleting it, and to lend it a little more believability since it's coming from "a friend." If you want to show a friend how much you care, do it by deleting the hoax part at the bottom, or by not sending it at all. Break this chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: Something for Nothing
References: None

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