Brand Icons Tout SuperTarget

NEW YORK Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners has launched a TV, print and direct mail campaign for Target’s SuperTarget chain of grocery stores that shows prominent brand icons flocking to store shelves.

In the effort’s only TV spot, brand icons like Cheetos’ Chester the Cheetah and Gorton’s Fisherman immigrate to “a place where everything is better,” via trains, planes and automobiles. Sharing a flight to this packaged-foods mecca are Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger and Planter’s Mr. Peanut, who looks dismayed when a stewardess offers him a bag of his own. The Keebler Elves wait restlessly at a bus station, while the Hamburger Helper hand thumbs a ride. Albert Hughes directed the spot out of Tate & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif.

A voiceover adds gravitas to the cavalcade of animated characters by deeply intoning, “And so they came, to a place where everything is better, especially the prices” as a stock boy applies stickers to the characters with a price gun. The ad uses the Target tagline, “Expect more. Pay less.”

By bringing the icons off the food packages and into the living world, the humorous spots communicate that the SuperTarget stores stock brand names at lower prices.

The campaign, which launched regionally Sunday, will also include a series of six full-page ads and direct mail and in-store components that also use the brand icons. The initial print ad shows the characters picking up their baggage at the airport.

Representatives at Kirshenbaum Bond referred questions to the client, which did not return calls.

Creatives on the spot include executive creative director, managing partner Logan Wilmont, creative director Wayne Best, art director Megan Skelly and copywriter Adam Alshin. The TV spot was animated by Passion Pictures.

Spending was undisclosed, but Target, which operates more than 1,000 stores nationwide, spent nearly $520 million on ads last year and almost $220 in the first half of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Competitor Walmart spent nearly $400 million on ads last year and about $190 million in the first six months of 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.