Joyful, playful, curious, adventurous—it is hard to choose which word best describes Bullseye, the Target dog. Whether he’s showing up at store openings, in our TV spots or on the red carpet, Bullseye’s fun and friendly personality is the ultimate expression of the Target brand. So how exactly did this pup become the company mascot? Let’s rewind to 1999 …
What’s up, dog?
Bullseye made his debut in Target’s iconic 1999 advertising campaign “Sign of the Times,” which featured a white English bull terrier with the Target logo over his left eye, set to a reworked version of the 1960s Petula Clark pop tune “A Sign of the Times.” The campaign proved to be a hit—and guests and team members demanded more Bullseye. In response, Target’s marketing team incorporated Bullseye into print, web and direct marketing later that year, even including his likeness as one of the first Target GiftCard designs that fall.
In 2003, Bullseye became a value ambassador as well, with his inclusion in the “See. Spot. Save.” advertising campaign. With that, his rise to fame was meteoric: “See. Spot. Save.” cemented Bullseye as part of American pop culture, and he soon became a fixture on red carpets and appearances at events across the U.S. and beyond.
- Bullseye’s signature, er, bullseye is created with Humane Society-approved vegetable-based paint that is applied by a professional makeup artist. Non-toxic, it easily wipes off and does not harm the dog in any way.
- On flights to and from events, Bullseye cozies up in his own seat with the rest of the passengers. When not out and about, Bullseye hangs out with his trainer in a hotel room.
- The Bullseye dog “plush” first made its debut in 1999 as a 15-inch version sold to guests in stores. It wasn’t until 2001 that it morphed into a 7-inch form, and Target began selling a variety of outfits and styles. It became available exclusively in the company store starting in 2004. The No. 1 seller? Our plain dog!
- Bullseye’s popularity has only grown over the years. To make sure he can RSVP “yes” to every invitation, there are multiple dogs who can step into his role: Six, to be exact! Two additional dogs are currently in training to be Bullseye. They’ll train for at least six months before making their first appearance.
- As a dog of many talents, Bullseye also pops up on social media: There are 150,000 mentions (and counting!) of #TargetDog on Instagram alone.
Today, Bullseye helps bring the Target brand to life—greeting guests in stores at Bullseye’s Playground or one of our Bullseye benches and popping up in your emails for a Target.com order. What’s he up to next? You never know—this Target dog is full of surprises!
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