Target to Guests: ‘Dominate That PTA Bake Sale’

Discussion
Jan 08, 2013

Full disclosure: As the primary grocery shopper in the household, I spend a large percentage of our shelf stable, refrigerated and frozen foods budget at the local Target store. I don’t need a lot of encouragement to shop at the chain because it has:

  1. A lot of the products we purchase in-stock;
  2. Very low prices made even lower by weekly coupons and a five percent discount with the use of our REDcard.

For some time now, it has been acknowledged that Target might be able to close the traffic gap with Walmart and others if it could just get food right.

On RetailWire, commentators have maintained that Target has the opportunity to do something big in grocery if it could only bring some of the elements that differentiate it in fashion, home, etc. to food. Now, it appears as though the chain may have found the right tone with a new laugh out loud campaign that combines fashion imagery with whispered voiceovers introducing consumers to "The Everyday Collection. By Target."

[Image: Bake Sale]

In an informal test of four new spots with resident females here, two stood out and were replayed multiple times, not to mention being shared via social media.

The first, "Ravenous," involves a pregnant woman ripping through various foods in wild animal fashion while the voiceover tells the audience: "What baby wants, baby gets."

The second, "Baked Sale," was the most popular here and features a model walking towards the camera as if on a catwalk. As she moves forward, various boxes with colorful baking mixes explode until the model crushes a raw egg in her bare hand to the voiceover: "Dominate that PTA bake sale. The Everyday Collection. By Target."

"’The Everyday Collection’ campaign combines Target’s insight into guests’ everyday routines with our design and fashion credibility to showcase products at a great price," Jeff Jones, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Target, told A Bullseye View. "It is the ultimate expression of ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’"

What is your assessment of Target’s new “Everyday Collection” campaign? Has the chain’s execution in food improved to the point where it can begin to seriously compete for leadership in markets around the U.S.?

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19 Comments on "Target to Guests: ‘Dominate That PTA Bake Sale’"


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David Livingston
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Slender pretty women in an ad is always smart, no matter what. Pretty people will always make a mediocre commercial, food, shopping experience, etc, seem better.

Target is still a long way from having a strong market share except in the Twin Cities. The pricing is right but, the stores are weak in perishables, lack the variety of Walmart, and it’s a 200 foot walk from the front door to the food in a PFresh store.

Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Target’s new campaign certainly stands out. It caught my attention from the first ad. Whether these highly stylized ads will increase sales is another question. With a limited selection and frequent out of stocks, our local Target stores are not the go-to grocers in our house.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
9 years 4 months ago

Today’s questions remind me of an old ad that read, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano.” Meaning that they had no idea I had learned how to play the piano. Increasingly consumers are learning that Target is becoming a good food merchant that is on the rise.

Target has competitive pricing, the REDcard discount, good variety but not as extensive as Walmart, and improving their perishable assortments even though fresh meats aren’t a strong profile.

The combinations I just mentioned, plus Target’s reputation for eventually ferreting out the best roadways for their businesses (excepting Neiman-Marcus’ experiment) supports the notion that Target can begin to seriously, albeit slowly, compete for grocery leadership in many markets other than the Twin Cities.

Zel Bianco
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

I saw the cake mix ad on TV recently and it caught my eye. This is a great promotion for the food division of Target—it promotes low prices and could be the turning point that Target needs to compete with Walmart. I like how Target is promoting the fact that their standard grocery items are at everyday low prices. Hopefully, this will draw in a larger segment of grocery shoppers.

W. Frank Dell II, CMC
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

The commercial is great and will be remembered. This is a great example of real consumer communication and marketing. The challenge is to carry through with the in-store experience. This includes having the right products, great display, compatible decor and pleasant checkout.

Note there is no reference to price. As Wegman’s and Whole Foods have proved, price is not everything. Targeting your consumer and communicating to who they are and what they think builds a loyal following when supported by execution.

Sue Patzkowsky
Guest
Sue Patzkowsky
9 years 4 months ago

This is a great start to help consumers become more aware of what Target offers in grocery. However, the PFresh concept cannot compete with Walmart on selection—the space is just too small. Super Target is much more effective, but has been pushed to the size with little to no expansion in recent years.

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Unlike the terrible holiday television ad campaign that Target ran this season, the latest ‘Everyday Collection’ for their grocery category is executed at the highly effective level that you would expect from Target.

Target’s food execution continually improves but still struggles with perception. Food is simply not perceived as a primary Target destination. This is reflected in the manner in which this latest ad campaign is designed. Leveraging its perception as a clothing and hard goods designation, the ad uses this to move the shopper into the food aisles. It will be interesting to see if Target can overcome this perception and bring shoppers into Target as their primary food/grocer of choice and sustain that consistently. At that point Target can then has a chance to compete for leadership in the grocery sector around the US.

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
9 years 4 months ago

Personally I think it’s pretty lame. I can’t see that they are advertising anything—just making a mess. I bet their grocery sales haven’t moved 1%. As to leadership, My Target (only 4 years old) doesn’t have a meat market, a bakery, or fresh produce. How can they possibly contend for any kind of market leadership?

Kelly Ruschman
Guest
Kelly Ruschman
9 years 4 months ago

I love Target’s serious, yet playful approach to everything they do. The difference for me is this makes me feel good about grocery shopping at Target versus a lesser experience elsewhere.

Bill Clarke
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

The ads are certainly fun and eye-catching, but they’re kind of preaching to the choir—the types of people who’ll find them appealing are the types of people who already shop at Target and already know that they sell Tide and cake mixes there.

People who grocery shop based on price, shop at Walmart. People who grocery shop based on quality and service, shop at higher-end supermarkets (Publix, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods). Does anyone grocery shop based on “chicness”?

It’s an interesting image campaign, but doesn’t have much to say other than, “hey, we sell groceries here, too.” Is it a sign that Target wants to become better known as a grocery-shopping destination, or that it has nothing else, really, to push in the slow month of January?

Mel Kleiman
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Great ads but lack of execution in the store means no long-term results. They just seem to be a me-too food retailer, at least in the Houston market.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
Carol Spieckerman
9 years 4 months ago

Super-model-esque hottie with a whisk on a mission to dominate the PTA bake sale? And with boxed cake mixes? Not feeling it. Am I being too literal? The ads suffer from the familiar Target over-try.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

This new ad campaign is smart and eye catching. The only other thing it needs to do is show it can draw more shoppers to Target’s grocery section. They have a long way to go to make this a winner.

Brian Kelly
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Two points make a straight line, or a trend—maybe.

I am not sure what TGT’s objective with these spots. And I wasn’t sure what the NM collaboration objective was either. What I know is sometimes when you squeeze the soap, one loses control of it. Brands are much the same. In an omnichannel world, TGT competition is everyone, not just WMT. Maintaining relevant differentiation is key.

So what do these spots say about buying groceries at TGT? Or as we like to say, “retail ain’t for sissies.”

David Slavick
Guest
David Slavick
9 years 4 months ago

It’s a big reach. Most women do not relate to the portrayal, but I have to defer to the executive that says it delivers on the brand positioning—otherwise why do it? The simplicity of the spots are attractive. Given the horrible broadcast executions we see every day, of course beautiful models in white silk dresses and flowing white linen will entertain and deliver on the concept of “stopping power.” The spots have that—capturing the viewer’s attention.

I am 100% certain that Procter & Gamble’s laundry/detergent category manager selling in to Target is very happy. It places Tide and Downy on a pedestal no traditional P&G spot could ever hope to accomplish.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Have to go with the pessimists here: sure it’s cute and clever—what else would we expect from Target?—and the egg crunching scene will probably have Freudians talking for weeks…but what does it tell us that we don’t already know? The reality is even the larger Targets have a food section not much larger than a convenience store (I exaggerate only slightly).

Lee Kent
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

Playing off their fashion image, A+. Compete with Walmart? Work on the in-store experience and keep doing what you’re doing. IMHO

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
9 years 4 months ago

It’s rare that a supermarket can get away with humor in its marketing. I’ve seen it done a couple of times successfully, but most stick to the price/emotion model. I’ve got to hand it to Target for taking this course; their previous fashion advertising paved the way for this approach. And really, Target had no choice in their food advertising—it had to echo their other campaigns.

The concern, of course, is that the ads are an invitation that must be satisfied with outstanding food delivery. Invitations are promises: If you’re invited to a wedding, somebody better be getting married. If you’re invited to a going-away party, somebody better be leaving. And if you’re invited to a wake, somebody better be dead.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
9 years 4 months ago

I think that the ads are brilliant but may have these affects on different customer segments: loyal Target customers will be confirmed they made the right choice, smart shoppers will give Target a visit, price-oriented consumers (Walmart shoppers) will confirm their current store is cheaper; the models make the products look expensive.

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