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Posts Tagged ‘Target’

Spin the Agencies of Record

United States Postal ServiceSpecial Delivery: Despite a shrinking media budget with a reported $15.9 billion annual loss, the U.S. Postal Service has selected Interpublic Group of Cos’ UM as its media agency. At a time when Americans are more budget conscious than ever—particularly where our government is concerned—the folks at Interpublic Group clearly have their work cut out for them.

The Morris + King Company announced that it has been retained by BUZZMEDIA, which always appears in all CAPS, because that’s how they roll. As agency-of-record, MKC will develop and execute a comprehensive public relations campaign on behalf of BUZZMEDIA that will tap MKC’s diverse strengths in both the technology and business sectors. BUZZMEDIA draws on original editorial content, deep audience engagement, and knowledge of the young adult audience to provide customized, innovative marketing and advertising solutions across its branded properties.

Spin the Agency in Aisle 9: Target (pronounced tar-jey, just so you know) has selected LatinWorks as its U.S. Hispanic account and will serve as the retail brand’s primary strategic partner, though LatinWorks may have to sort through some conflict of interest issues as it also represents TJX Companies’ Marshalls.

Backlash Builds Against Retailers Starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving

Over the years, retailers have begun opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday in order to make the most of the biggest shopping day of the year. This bottom line-driven phenomenon is not-so-lovingly known as “Black Friday creep,” conjuring images of something amorphous and sinister rolling slowly through the night to overtake Thanksgiving — and that’s not too far off, really.

Just ask Casey St. Clair, a Target employee whose recent petition to get the retail giant to stay closed on Thanksgiving night (rather than opening with Black Friday deals at 9:00 pm as scheduled) inspired a veritable revolt among retail employees and customers alike.

Her email via read, in part:

In the last week, over 230,000 people have signed my petition asking my employer, Target, to change its Black Friday shopping hours to let employees have Thanksgiving dinner with our families.

We have real momentum, and this Monday, I’ll be delivering my petition with over 230,000 signatures to Target Headquarters – click here to join us and add your name.

After I was on TV, my manager offered me Thanksgiving day off. But I declined. This isn’t about just me — it’s about respecting one of the few days retail workers have a year to spend time with loved ones.

While Target is certainly not alone in opening on Thanksgiving (Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Sears and KMart will be the first large retail chains to open with Black Friday sales at 8:00 pm), it has received the brunt of the public’s ire thanks to the petition.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Active living brand prAna, known for its functional designs and progressive style, has selected Haberman of Minneapolis as its AOR in a competitive review. Haberman will handle public relations, social media and event management for the company as well as long-term marketing planning for prAna’s first Twin Cities location.

The new Minnesota store, slated to open in early November 2012 at 50th and France in Edina, joins five other retail prAna locations in Denver, Boulder, Santa Barbara, Portland and San Francisco.

Gap brand has eschewed established global agencies like stalwart Ogilvy for a host of agencies available on an as-needed basis. The shops including Peterson Milla Hooks and AKQA. PMH, a Minneapolis-based shop, has worked with Target, Kmart and JC Penney. Yet Gap and Ogilvy still maintain a relationship.

Gap spokeswoman Edie Kissko said,”Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide helped us tremendously over the last year in establishing the Gap brand ‘Be Bright’ platform, which we launched with our spring campaign… Ogilvy also created our fall ‘Icon Redefined’ campaign.”

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Smithsonian Revamping Its Stuffy Brand

How does one re-brand an august institution like a classical museum–a “product” that is stuffy by its very nature?

The Smithsonian Institution is an extremely popular destination for anyone visiting in the Washington, D.C. area, but the folks in charge clearly felt like they needed to increase their appeal—which is why they decided to hire Wolff Olins to help create the first ad campaign in the institution’s 166-year history.

The Smithsonian’s 19 individual museums and galleries are some of the best-known and most popular in the country. In fact, we wonder if one can even call oneself a true American without at least one visit to the Air and Space Museum! So what changed? The new move started with two dreaded words: user feedback.

The terms most often used to describe the Smithsonian in a study commissioned by the institution two years ago apparently included “boring” and “intimidating,” so organizers decided to spend a couple million bucks (with the help of Target) on a brand strategy and subsequent ad campaign, now set to appear in America’s largest cities this fall.

The most interesting thing about this project to us is that it wasn’t designed strictly to increase attendance—the numbers for 2012 are already better than last year’s, with total visitors expected to reach 30 million by year’s end. What the Smithsonian wants is, to put it bluntly, an image makeover.

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Ode to Andy: Campbell’s Repays the Warhol Favor After 50 Years

Like most Americans in the heady, mixed-up days of the early 60′s, Campbell’s Soup executives didn’t quite know what to make of Andy Warhol. The pop artist’s ongoing love letter to the chowders, bisques and broths that flavored his Pittsburgh childhood–rendered in hundreds of colorful variations via his signature screenprinting method–may have been the greatest free PR boost in American history, but Campbell’s wasn’t quite sure whether to embrace the art world ringleader, view him as a one-off oddity or sue him for copyright infringement (a course their legal team wisely chose to avoid).

In a sign of how closely Warhol remains tied to the Campbell’s brand, the company announced this week that it will release a series of limited-edition cans designed to pay homage to the artist, whose followers called him “Drella” in tribute to his dual personae: Dracula and Cinderella.

The cans will run in a limited edition of 1.2 million available exclusively at Target stores and cost 75 cents each, providing an opportunity for Campbell’s to both regain a bit of media attention and boost flagging sales numbers by honoring its most famous fan.

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Diet Coke Gets a Facelift

Beginning Sept. 1, the Diet Coke cans you know and love will look a little different. The new design, created by Turner Duckworth, first showed up on supermarket shelves last fall as a limited-edition package, but it will now become the regular face of the leading soda brand. As you can see at left, the familiar silver, black, and red color scheme will remain the same, but the classic logo has been cropped to emphasize the iconic serif “D” and “k.”

So why the makeover? Brand spokeswoman Kerry Tressler said the design is returning “by popular demand” after extensive market testing by Coca-Cola that began way back in August and September of 2010. According to Ad Age, “In a trial with Target, the test market saw volume growth outpace the rest of the country.” That’s pretty significant evidence that the new can may be a hit. “It wasn’t an accidental design or something that we just happened on,” said Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s president-sparkling beverages.

The new logo will not appear on bottles, only cans–but it will also make an appearance on a T-shirt designed by Miami International University of Art and Design student Gustavo Alonso. Target stores nationwide will stock the shirt to promote Diet Coke’s Young Designer Challenge.

Ms. Tressler wouldn’t spill the beans to Ad Age about the brand’s future marketing or customer outreach plans, but she did say that there would be more news in the coming weeks. We hope Diet Coke isn’t already thinking about going under the knife again–moderation in all things, you know?

Chick-fil-A’s Stance on Gay Marriage Causes Firestorm of Both Outrage and Support

Between the Boy Scouts reconfirming their stance on excluding gays, and controversy over Target‘s refusal to sell Frank Ocean’s album, it’s been an uproarious week in the debate over gay rights. The latest firestorm of conflicting public opinions on the subject was sparked by anti-gay marriage comments made by Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A. The fast food company famous for inventing the chicken sandwich is now scrambling to invent a way out of the political spotlight.

According to CNN, when asked on Monday about his company’s opposition to gay marriage and support of the traditional family unit, Cathy told the Baptist Press that he and his company were “guilty as charged.” He went on to say that he and his company are “very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Both an outpouring of support and a wildfire of outrage followed, with Chick-fil-A’s Facebook and Twitter accounts being flooded with arguments on both sides, causing Chick-fil-A to become a top trending subject on Google on Thursday. In an apparent attempt to douse the flames, the company posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

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Motives Behind Target’s Refusal to Sell Frank Ocean’s Album Questioned

Frank Ocean’s new album, Channel Orange, officially drops today, but if you were thinking of picking it up while running some errands at Target, think again. Since the critically acclaimed album was released in digital form on iTunes last week, Target will not stock the physical version, saying in a statement that they focus on offering their guests “a wide assortment of physical CDs, so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date.”

Sounds fair enough, but the timing of Target’s decision, along with its history of being linked to anti-gay groups, has some questioning whether the retailer’s refusal to sell Ocean’s album has more to do with the artist’s recently-revealed bisexuality than with the iTunes exclusive. Read more

Target Makes Changes With Jason Wu Collection, But We Still Couldn’t Get Anything

Target made its Jason Wu capsule collection available in the wee hours of Sunday morning and, just like all the other collections, we managed to get absolutely nada. But not so for some folks, like the couple in this video, which has popped up across the Web as an example of the “hoarding” behavior of some shoppers who then post the items on eBay and other auction sites at inflated prices.

Target says it has taken steps to correct the problems that customers experienced with past collections, particularly the Missoni line. Among the changes: a different launch time, making the collection available in fewer stores, and better estimates for demand.

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Jason Wu for Target Puts Milu in the Spotlight

February 5 isn’t just Super Bowl Sunday. It’s also the day that Target makes the Jason Wu for Target capsule collection available. Set your alarm clocks for midnight and let the mayhem begin?

Announced back in October, the date is finally upon us. Every fashion magazine that we’ve picked up this month has a blurb about the release date, so it’s definitely getting the media coverage.

But we wonder if the coverage is because of the excitement surrounding a new Target collection, or anticipation for Jason Wu.

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