It’s the Friday before the Big Game in Minneapolis, and guests are making their last-minute #TargetRuns, stocking up on all the essentials for their watch parties.
At our Super Target in St. Paul, Minn., one guest slipped quietly into the Entertainment department with a shopping cart, a marker and a plan. It was Justin Timberlake—in town to headline the big halftime show—and he was about to give his fans a big surprise.
He autographed five copies of the Target-exclusive version of his new album, “Man of the Woods”—just released today—and gave them to our store manager for safekeeping. Soon after, a video of Justin’s mischief hit Instagram with his instructions: Go to the Super Target and give the store manager the secret code word, “Aardvark,” (I don’t know why. It just sounds like a great word!”) to claim one of the signed albums.
“When we found out Justin was coming to our store, I knew the team would be pumped,” said Tiffany Miskulin, store team leader at the St. Paul Super Target (pictured below), who was holding the albums and watching with anticipation to see who the lucky recipients would be. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, so it’s been a fun week!”The race was on. It took less than 15 minutes for the first guest to get to the store and take one of the albums home. It was Christina, a student from North Carolina who calls herself a big Justin Timberlake fan.
“I was at home when a friend sent me a text about Justin’s post,” she said. “I’m beyond amazed that I got one of the albums!”
Flying through the doors next were Janelle from Minneapolis and her friend Heidi from Eagan, Minn., who work together a few blocks away from the store.
“We heard screams coming from the lunchroom when the Instagram post went up,” Heidi said. “So we grabbed our coats and bolted to the store. We’ve been watching Instagram in hopes of seeing Justin somewhere in town this week, so this is so exciting!”
I’m shaking right now,” added Janelle. “Justin’s songs mean so much to my husband and me. We worked lyrics from ‘Mirrors’ into our wedding vows, and it’s become our song.”
Then came Sarah from St. Paul, Minn., and Jessica from Detroit, who picked up the last two albums.
“I was at the gym when my sister messaged me,” said Sarah, a frequent guest at the Midway store. “She knew this is my Target. I’ve been listening to ‘Man of the Woods’ all day, so having the album is incredible.”
Jessica, in town to attend a concert this weekend, added “I was at the hotel, actually listening to ‘Say Something’ when I checked Instagram and saw the post. I drove over as fast as I could!”
From left: Sarah, Janelle, Heidi, Christina and Jessica with their autoraphed albums.
Guests who showed up with the code word after the signed albums were gone got a special treat too—a $5 Target GiftCard for taking part in the fun.
As his No. 1 fans know, Justin has a history of teaming up with the bullseye for surprising music moments. Back in 2013, he sneaked up on some of his biggest fans on the set of our commercial for his Target-exclusive deluxe edition of “The 20/20 Experience,” and later led Twitter followers on an adventure to find a hidden spot for a private performance of “Take Back the Night.” The guy’s full of surprises, and we can’t wait to see what he has planned for this weekend’s big show.
Target’s exclusive version of “Man of the Woods” is now available at all stores and Target.com. Pick up the CD, which includes exclusive cover art and a bonus poster, or get the LP record in a limited-edition translucent orange vinyl, both with a digital download of the full album.
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