72andSunny, Target Take Viewers on a ‘Holiday Odyssey’

By Erik Oster 

For its holiday campaign for Target, 72andSunny created a digital children’s book narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, produced in collaboration with MediaMonks and illustrated by Invisible Creatures. The story also inspired five holiday broadcast ads, the first two of which the brand has already released.

The first of the broadcast ads, “The Journey Begins” was released at the end of last month and follows a group of children who travel to an enchanted holiday world, somewhat reminiscent of the premise in last year’s “Alice in Marshmallow Land.” They witness a tree lighting ceremony go wrong and volunteer to journey to replace the broken bulb. The 60-second spot features appearances from popular characters from the Lego universe, Elmo and Minions. A 30-second follow-up sees the kids traveling on the whipped cream seas where they face a creature who isn’t quite as monstrous as it first appears.

The digital storybook, meanwhile, is introduced in a brief online spot featuring Target’s mascot Bullseye the dog. Harris explains that Bullseye went on an adventure, but, since he can’t tell you about it, he got Harris to instead. Perhaps thanks to Harris’ celebrity, the 20-second online spot, really just an introduction to the digital storybook, already has over two million views. Other campaign elements include the return of Target’s kids’ wish list app, and an in-store activition in New York transforming the store’s retail space into a holiday wonderland.

“There is a metaphorical journey we all go on through the holiday time,” 72andSunny CEO John Boiler told Adweek. “We’re all anticipating the mystery and challenge of the holidays in front of us. But it does have twists and turns.”

“Throughout the season, we’ll aim to excite the kid in all of us, create powerful cultural and family moments during the season, and deliver extraordinary value and easy shopping experiences,” added Target chief marketing officer Jeff Jones. “This year’s creative and media strategy is a beautiful blend of math and magic.”