How many Target supermodels does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one, but only if she’s wearing stiletto heels.

At first glance, Target’s new TV campaign, featuring high-fashion models selling everyday staples, seems off-strategy, if not downright weird.

Light bulbs, chicken breasts and baby dill pickles are highlighted as part of (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) The Everyday Collection at Target.

What’s going on? Are they selling instant oatmeal to fashionistas? Couture to soccer moms?

Given the references to pregnancy cravings, diaper changes and PTA bake sales, the campaign’s target is young moms and moms-to-be, a highly desirable demographic for retailers. Lock ‘em in now and they’ll return for the back-to-school sales.

The campaign “creates a foil for what people are used to seeing for grocery advertising,” said Jeff Jones, Target’s EVP and CMO, in an interview with the Associated Press. “It combines the design ethos and fashion creditability that Target has with the idea that it also has great grocery items at a great price.”

But are they really selling muffin mix? I don’t think so.

The TV spots engage by playfully employing production values one would expect in a sports car or perfume commercial. (Watch examples below.) Marketing investments of this magnitude are not usually made without research. One can assume Target’s target appreciated its tongue-in-cheek portrayal of supermoms.

Target claims to be taking “a category typically advertised by price points and bring(ing) it to a level that makes everyday routines appear glamorous.” But that’s not what is going on here.

Target isn’t really selling baby wipes. It’s positioning its brand to the next generation of shoppers.

This entry was posted in advertising, retail, strategy.

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