Target’s Big Digital Holiday Campaign Combines Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram

Social budget is up 30 percent

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Target is bringing out all the digital (jingle) bells and whistles this year for its holiday campaign, which plays out across Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other apps. Social makes up 12 percent of its paid media spend, a 30 percent increase over last year.

"Holiday this year represents Target's most ambitious social spend for a single campaign," said Colleen McDuffe, senior director of social media at Target. "For the first time, Target will be leveraging Snapchat to engage our guests during the holidays."

This week, Target is rolling out a Thanksgiving-themed geofilter to all Snapchat users in the U.S. that lets people overlay a branded graphic on top of their photos—and that's just the beginning of Target's plans for geofilters. Starting Dec. 1, a new holiday-themed design will be released each day through Christmas.

The Minneapolis-based retailer is also using Facebook's Canvas e-commerce ads to push sales of a new product called Wonderpacks, craft-activity packs that help families make things like ugly sweaters and mistletoe. A corresponding ad campaign will employ Canvas' full-screen mobile ads to show people what the product looks like.

Additionally, Target is running Instagram takeover ads using the app's self-proclaimed high-impact ad unit Marquee that launched in September. App installs and carousel ads on Facebook are also part of the retailer's mobile ad buy.

"More and more, we know [shoppers] are looking to Facebook for purchase inspiration, especially on their mobile devices," McDuffe said.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.