Kids Keep Running the Show as Target Helps Families Gear Up for Back-to-School

MINNEAPOLIS - July 18, 2016


Target puts kids in charge of $5 million school donation and first, completely kid-created marketing campaign.

This year, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) is putting kids in charge of the back-to-school season. Building on the success of its kid-inspired new Cat & Jack and Pillowfort lines, Target is relying on kids to direct how it will fund school programs in their communities and concept, direct and produce its national marketing 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."

Kid-Directed Giving
In partnership with, a non-profit dedicated to engaging the public to fund school projects, Target will give up to $5 million to fund kids’ ideas that help students across the country live healthier, more active lives. The donation will be the largest wellness-education related investment in’s 15-year history and could reach up to 200,000 students.

Beginning August 1, kids and their teachers can go to to submit ideas for their schools. As part of Target’s commitment to wellness, ideas must be focused on promoting healthy eating, such as planting a school vegetable garden, or increasing physical activity by equipping students with a pedometer. In addition, submitted projects need to cost less than $1,000 to activate and be able to be completed within the 2016/2017 school year. In partnership with, Target will fund all ideas that meet the program criteria on an ongoing, first-come basis. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1, 2016 or until up to $5 million has been awarded.

The program will support students in public school classrooms across the country from kindergarten to 12th grade. It’s just one example of Target’s ongoing commitment to giving 5 percent of its profits back to communities, which today equals more than $4 million a week.

First Totally Kid-Created Campaign
Target harnessed the talent of kids for its first kid-created marketing campaign. Kids led every major aspect of the campaign, from drafting story boards and scripts and illustrating the creative, to directing and styling the spots and performing the music. Target is the first company to empower kids to create a national marketing campaign of this size and scale.

Target partnered with two non-profit organizations on the campaign, including 826LA and Adolescent. A group of seven kid writers, ages 8-11, developed the story boards for each television commercial, and three kid directors, ages 13, 15 and 17 oversaw the shoot. On set, Target partnered with a 15 year-old stylist for creative direction. Girls from the band, L2M, recorded the anthem song used in the campaign. Seven television commercials ranging from a pencil drawing of an imaginary world, to new friendships beginning over a Star Wars lunch box will begin airing on July 17 in local markets. Target also tapped kid illustrators to create designs that are used in stores and in digital and social marketing throughout the entire season.

Must-Have Back to School Products and Gear
Just as kids are at the heart of the campaign, they also at the heart of Target’s product development and selection. In fact, kids played a key role in the design and development of the new kids’ apparel and accessories line, Cat & Jack. In addition, Target’s broad assortment and exclusive gear provides kids with the supplies and style they want for a successful school year. Top products and trends include:

  • Extra-durable, Target exclusive, Embark backpacks with top-loading zippers and capacity to hold up to five or six books. New this year, all Embark backpacks and lunch kits come with a one-year guarantee.
  • Cat & Jack is an exclusive new line of high-quality, stylish and colorful apparel and accessories developed by Target’s design team with kids’ input in mind.
  • Exclusive collection of Puma and Skechers backpacks and lunch kits.
  • Yoobi’s new Back-to-School collection with Pharrell William’s creative collective, i am OTHER, which enlisted kids to share which art, words and quotes inspired them to embrace what makes them unique. The Yoobi x i am OTHER line features backpacks, journals, folders, lunch bags and more with a positive message about self-acceptance, individuality and motivation to meet one’s potential while giving back to those less fortunate.
  • Exclusive DIY collection with YouTube star Bethany Mota for students to personalize their school supplies with fun stickers and accessories.
  • Pencil pouches, notebooks, backpacks and lunch kits with favorite movie characters from Finding Dory, Star Wars and Frozen.
  • Top prints including floral patterns, marble accents and camouflage on everything from notebooks to backpacks. Trends also include food-inspired designs such as pizza slices or donuts and supplies and backpacks adorned with emojis, throwback designs like cassette tapes and fun, inspirational quotes.  

School List Assist
This year, Target has updated the School List Assist tool on to make it even easier for parents to shop their kids’ lists. Through a partnership with, nearly one million school supply lists will be available directly within the tool. Parents can quickly and seamlessly purchase all of their kids’ school supplies and have it sent to their home or they can pick up their order in a Target store.

About Target:
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,792 stores and at Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.    


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