This seems like very clever marketing, and OTCS approves. The cards will be "collectable" and feature various images of Lennon. And because it is being released during the holiday shopping bonanza, consumers are likely to grab these up along with all the other gift certificates they will already be buying (and not have to carry around all day!).
The real question is: does this create a conflict of interest with Starbucks' Hear Music record label? More poignent is the fact that Paul McCartney, Lennon's former band-mate in The Beatles, is the Hear Music label's signature artist. Notwithstanding any contract disputes with McCartney's former label (EMI), what benefit is there to joining Hear Music if your old label can sell compilations in the same limited venue, with nifty packaging that benefits both your old label, and your former opposition in a trademark dispute (Apple iTunes / Apple Records Ltd.)?
Victoria's Secret, the women's lingerie retailer, will be the EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR of the Spice Girl's soon-to-be-released (Nov. 12) "Greatest Hits" compilation (EMI).
Not sure this is as ground-breaking as last week's Madonna/Live Nation deal, or the Radiohead In Rainbows name-your-own-price model, but an interesting example of a major label seeking revenue from alternative sources. However, OTCS questions how many men will walk into a Victoria's Secret just to buy the album? How will EMI promote this to customers (e.g., men) who do not regularly shop - for either apparel or music - in Victoria's Secret? Victoria's Secret clearly is not the same type of retailer as Starbucks, who draw in a much more diverse demographic of customers to purchase albums on their HearMusic label.
Also interesting, what cut is Victoria's Secret taking on album sales? Or maybe they get their cut on the up-coming Spice Girl's tour? Talk to me people...