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In a broadcast spot from Target’s new “Vibes, TargetStyle,” campaign, a woman slips Tabasco sauce into a black-and-white clutch purse that’s new at the chain this fall.
It’s a “cultural clue” that might be lost on a baby boomer, and that’s okay by Target.
Target’s fall campaign, “Vibes, TargetStyle,” aims at Millennials with references resonant to them, like this nod to Beyonce’s “Formation” lyric, “I got hot sauce in my bag.”
Like the Beyoncé lyric referenced, “I got hot sauce in my bag,” the campaign is aimed squarely at millennials, Target’s most prized demographic today, and at burnishing its authority as an arbiter of style, Todd Waterbury, senior vice president and chief creative officer for the discounter, told FORBES.
The Vibes broadcast spots and social-media campaign, which run through Oct. 31, spotlight the fashion, beauty and home looks that are hot, or “vibing,” for fall through the lens of “culture and creativity,” he said. The product categories also happen to be a bright spot amid overall weak sales in the most recent quarter at the chain.
In spots created by agency Mother New York, brand influencers figure heavily in the campaign, and that’s by design: When it comes to millennials, influencers are what fashion magazines were for older generations: arbiters of style.
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“We need to create work that is relevant and inspirational to millennials,” Waterbury said. The generation has surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s biggest buying group, poised to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes.
Target feauters influencers in the campaign, including sisters Tk Quann and Cipriana Quann of lifestyle blog Urban Bush Babes.
The fall Target spots feature influencers such as model Nina Agdal sporting the very on-trend natural look in lipstick from the retailer’s Pixi by Petra collection, and sisters Tk Quann and Cipriana Quann of lifestyle blog Urban Bush Babes, who don Mossimo women’s mock neck sweater dresses, as turtlenecks are “vibing” this season.
Brand influencers, often bloggers and celebrities, come with built-in fashion/culture credibility, often with an expansive pool of active and engaged social-media followers. In some cases, influencers like beauty blogger Michelle Phan boast more followers than multi million-dollar brands. And Target wants to tap into that. “It’s important that we are seen as a company that recognizes all these influencers and also speaks to their fan base,” Waterbury said.
The campaign extends online via a “digital chain letter” whereby select influencers share their own spin on their favorite fall Target looks using the hash tag, #VibeItForward. Shoppers are encouraged to join the chatter and share their Target style picks via the #vibes hash tag.
The marketing push comes as the retailer, known for its limited-edition collaborations with upscale design firms like Missoni and Lilly Pulitzer, seeks to take its style credibility to greater heights, a mandate set by its new chief merchant Mark Tritton, who joined Target from Nordstrom department stores in May.
Tritton is cooking up a plan to turn “Tar-zhay” — the nickname coined years ago to connote Target’s upscale pedigree housed in a discount-store box — into “Tar-zhay plus or Tar-zhay squared,” he told theStarTribune.
According to Waterbury, Tritton has already demonstrated “a real vision for where the product can go and evolve, and elevating that product.” Stay tuned.