Target’s Holiday Campaign Features a Cast of 125 in Nearly 100 Scenes

CMO Rick Gomez spoke with Adweek about what went into this year's holiday branding

Target holiday campaign featuring a family baking
Target's holiday campaign is called "Thinking of You."
Target

Halloween costumes may not yet be packed away, and jack-0-lanterns are still scattered around stoops across the country, but it’s Nov. 1—and that means retailers are ushering in the holiday season.

And with the start of the holiday season (or at the very least, the holiday preseason, for those who won’t acknowledge it until after Thanksgiving), Target is unveiling its holiday campaign. Called “Thinking of You,” the campaign is centered around a 60-second anthem video. All aspects of the campaign were created in collaboration between Target’s in-house team, Target Creative and agency Mother New York.

Rick Gomez, CMO and chief digital officer at Target, told Adweek that the brand’s intent with this year’s campaign was to showcase a diverse group of people in a variety of “holiday moments,” meant to reflect the broad demographics of Target shoppers. A cast of 125 people appears in nearly 100 holiday moments: family dinners, video chats with loved ones, decorating gingerbread houses, admiring Christmas trees, taking photos, playing with a Frozen-themed toy (in a nod to Target’s new Disney partnership) and lighting kinara for Kwanzaa, among many others.

“Last year’s campaign was really celebrating the moments throughout the season,” said Gomez. “This year, we wanted to take the campaign and make it even more inclusive and more diverse.

“We all celebrate differently,” he added. “But there is a universal truth. And that universal truth is that we all seek those moments of joy that we get to spend time with the ones that we love. And we’re recognizing the fact that you know, no matter how you celebrate or what you celebrate, or who you celebrate with, Target’s going to be there for you and Target has what you need.”

Beyond the anthem, Target’s holiday marketing will also have shorter 15- and 30-second spots that showcase other elements of the company’s business, such as same-day delivery, drive-up order pickup and its holiday product assortment. Target will also be coming out with two catalogs, available in print and digital: one for gifting and one that’s toy-specific.

Target’s holiday branding will also extend into stores. Once again, the area of the store where seasonal and holiday items will be available in the area called the “Wondershop.” And for the first time, the toy section will be dubbed “Bullseye’s Toy Shop,” in a nod to Target’s canine mascot. Holiday decor will be on display throughout the store.

The campaign and in-store experiences are part of Target’s plan to capitalize on one of its most financially vital times of the year.

“The fourth quarter is critical to our business,” said Gomez. “And marketing plays a really important role of certainly holding up this iconic brand, but also driving the business and driving traffic to our stores.”

It’s been a busy few months for Target: The Minneapolis-based retailer announced a partnership with Disney at the end of August and also recently revamped its its loyalty program, Target Circle. Target is also investing $50 million more into holiday payroll than in years past to ensure there are plenty of employees on the floor during the extra-busy holiday season.

Gomez said: “There’s a lot of momentum going into the holiday season between [Target] Circle, Disney, our investment in our team members and then our marketing campaign, to really drive the business and the brand.”

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