Will Reality TV Help Target Connect With College Kids?
To reach cyber-savvy college kids, Target is creating a mini reality TV show and installing a pop-up "dorm room" program as part of a reality TV themed extension of its annual "Bullseye University" campaign.
A highlight of the campaign is the Bullseye University Digital Experience, featuring five YouTube personalities living in a life-size "dorm," created on a set in Los Angeles, for three days — July 15 to 18. According to USA Today, the personalities include Chester See, a producer, actor and musician who has his own YouTube channel; and Tessa Violet, known as "Meekakitty," who does video blogging and loves "debating sci-fi movies, making music videos and talking about anything." The three other roommates include a magician, a fashion hound and a gamer.
At bullseyeuniversity.com, online visitors can interact with personalities, participate in workouts in the Bullseye University lounge, attend a streamed concert hosted by MTV, and win up to 400 prizes as part of a sweepstakes campaign. They can also shop for products they spot in the dorm room with a point and click.
In more of a pop-up reality TV effort, Target is introducing Live Dorm Rooms on five college campuses — Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia State, George Mason and UCLA — throughout August and September. The freestanding, glass-enclosed structures will be occupied by a student and fully furnished with products from Target. Students will have the opportunity to win products and other prizes through social media, and receive coupon offers on site. The Target products feature QR codes for online shopping.
Target is also expanding on many of the digital shopping tools and services it has included in past BTS efforts, including:
- uStyler: An online tool that enables browsers to mix and match dorm décor in a virtual rooms to create their own personalized look. The designs can be shared through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest;
- The Checklist: Also available at Target.com/college and on the Target mobile app, the tool helps students organize and personalize their back-to-college shopping list. The Checklist includes customized product recommendations based on different living situations, and can also be shared socially;
- After-Hours Busing Events: Target will bus freshman to a local store after hours at 100 campuses during August and September.
"It’s a really important season, because if we can get this young adult millennial who is going into a new life stage, it’s a way to get a loyal guest for a lifetime," Rick Gomez, SVP, marketing, Target told Advertising Age.
- Target Makes Heading Back to Class Smart and Stylish with Exceptional Value and Interactive Tools – Target
- Bulls Eye University – Target
- Target Back to College – Target
- Target plans reality show for back-to-college – USA Today
- Target Goes Big for Back-to-School – Women’s Wear Daily (sub. required)
- Target Expands Offerings, Invests in Digital for Back-to-School – Advertising Age (tiered sub.)
How well do you think the various elements of Target’s “Bullseye University” campaign will connect with college kids? What particular risks and benefits do you see from campaigns such as this?