Why Target’s New Ad Campaign Isn’t Trying to Sell You Anything

May 19, 2014 - Article reads in
guest experience

You’re about to see more Target commercials, but they’re not trying to sell you something that can be found on store shelves.

Target has built a reputation on innovative marketing campaigns, from broadcast commercials and digital banners to print flyers and in-store signage. Whether featuring celebrities (Remember this Prabal Gurung for Target campaign?) and kooky characters (How about the singing Target teacher?) or fusing together fashion and food in an unexpected way, Target’s advertising is brave and bold.

And the latest chapter in Target’s long advertising history may be the Bullseye’s boldest campaign yet.

Around for Good” is Target’s first-ever marketing campaign dedicated to sharing the story of the brand’s commitment to communities, schools and the earth.

“Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of our profits — totaling more than $4 million a week — to communities,” said Jeff Jones, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “We have a strong legacy of giving, but our guests don’t know the full story.”

Target realized that while guests may know how much the Bullseye does for education, from School Library Makeovers to literacy pilots, they don’t know the full impact of Target’s community efforts.

“We want our guests to see and feel that when they shop at Target, they’re part of something bigger than a transaction,” said Jeff. “We knew an authentic campaign, that builds brand love and shows the real stories of how our team members are changing lives across communities and areas of our business, could make that happen.”

The heart of the ad campaign — several documentary-style videos that reveal those genuine, feel-good moments most marketers only dream to recreate — premiered on prime time during the Billboard Music Awards and feature Target team members in action.

Check out the full spots at YouTube.com/Target.

Lori Rinke has a mission: Getting the word out that guests can find high-quality coffee — that’s responsibly sourced — on Target shelves.

“I’m really proud that we were the first major retailer to sell Direct Trade coffee,” said Lori.

Target’s Direct Trade program guarantees coffee farmers a fair price, gives them incentives to use sustainable growing practices and encourages them to reinvest in their farms. Plus, it makes sure guests can sip on a conscientious (and delicious) cup of coffee that supports a great cause.

It was a humbling experience to visit the Target farmers who grow Archer Farms Direct Trade Nicaragua Las Mercedes coffee, said Lori.

Farmer Don Primitivo, rarely seen without his trademark cowboy hat, and his seven-acre coffee farm produced about 60 cargas of green coffee for export (one carga = 100 pounds) in 2013 alone. One pound of green coffee ultimately produces one 12-ounce bag of coffee that Target sells.

“Seeing how hard the farmers work to grow the coffee for us is incredibly humbling, said Lori. “I feel like it’s a privilege for us to work hard to sell it.”

And sometimes, it’s just about lending a hand to participate and help out.

“It’s an incredibly effective way to build connections with your colleagues and your community,” said Sunda Obendorf, a Target store team leader who routinely volunteers in her Chicago neighborhood. Her team is well known for being an enthusiastic volunteer crew — they tracked 1,100 total volunteer hours last year.

In addition to the videos, the Around for Good campaign will also come to life as part of a few big brand moments throughout the year, as well as on a daily basis online and in Target stores. Jeff said Target is also dedicating “prime marketing real estate” — signage in nearly 1,789 U.S. stores — to highlight the Around for Good philosophy.

We’ll continue to share stories about Target’s commitment to communities right here on A Bullseye View, so stay tuned. Much like the new campaign, we’re Around for Good.

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