Kids Run the Show: Behind the Scenes of Target’s Back to School Campaign

July 18, 2016 - Article reads in
Behind the scenes of the Back to School campaign

Before kids step into their first day of school outfits, zip up their backpacks or sit down at their desks, the Target team is putting pencil to paper, thinking up the best ways to celebrate kids’ potential all year long. This time, to help youngsters and parents gear up for the coming school year, we're tapping kids to steer our entire back-to-school campaign. 

“Kids and families are incredibly important to Target, and just as parents recognize the potential in their kids, Target does too,” said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer, Target. “We were inspired to work even more closely with kids after seeing the difference they made in the development of our new Cat & Jack and Pillowfort lines. Now, we're taking things a step further, allowing kids to put their mark on Target’s community giving and marketing campaign for the back-to-school season. Both are not only inspired by kids, but completely created by kids."

Kids didn’t just help with our school-bound efforts, they led them! Take our TV commercials for example: three kid directors oversaw the production, seven kid writers put the stories together, kid illustrators brought the sets to life and a group of girls from the band L2M performed all the music. Simply put, the kids ran the show. Take a peek at what went on behind the scenes of the first totally kid-driven marketing campaign:

Tk Play

Want to see more? Keep an eye out for seven brand new commercial spots airing nationally starting July 31. And check out the kids’ designs and illustrations throughout our marketing – both online and in store - throughout the season. 

Of course, with a new school year coming, we're gearing up to send kids back to class in style—all while equipping parents with the tools and resources they need for an easy, hassle-free shopping experience! From the new Cat & Jack line of apparel and accessories, designed with kids for kids, to an exclusive collection of Puma and Skechers backpacks and lunch kits, to an inspirational collection of school supplies from the Yoobi and i am OTHER partnership with Pharrell, to our updated School List Assist tool on, we've got kids' wants and needs at the heart of all of Target's back-to-school initiatives.

To top it all off, we’re partnering with, a leading platform for education-related crowd-sourced funding, where we’ll fund up to $5 million of kid-proposed wellness-focused projects in schools throughout the country. The submission process will begin on August 1. Here’s how to get involved:

Starting August 1st, students can work with their techers to submit project ideas at
Ideas must:
Be completely kid-inspired.
Not exceed $1,000.
Allow students to increase physical activity or promote healthy eating.
The deadline for submission is October 1 or until up to $5 million has been fully allotted!

Here at Target, we have always recognized what kids are capable of; this year we’re excited to take the celebration to new heights by empowering them and letting them make back to school (and beyond!) their very own.

Stay tuned for more back-to-school news and announcements from Target coming soon to A Bullseye View.

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