Newspaper Advertising - The Creative Potential: Target - USA

BACKGROUND

These ads are part of a long-running and distinctive campaign for Target, one of the largest retailers in the US.

Created by Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York, the work has been designed specifically for newspapers and appears in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Target wanted to communicate the message that the retailer is all about democratising style. The ads showcase a different product each week nationally, showing consumers they do not have to pay top dollar for well-designed products.

The campaign is intended to stand out from other less stylish press ads and from newspaper editorial. Top photographers have been used to give the well-designed ads a slick finish. Each ad is created in such a way as to be able to hold its own beside an ad for a luxury item, such as a Cartier watch, helping to reinforce the message that Target brings style to the masses.

This year the Target campaign won silver at the Newspaper Association of America's Athena Awards for newspaper advertising.

Newspapers are the ideal medium for the campaign because their reach allows Target to talk to influential people on a daily basis. US papers sell more than 54 million copies a day in total. The 12 top-selling titles account for a sizeable 20 per cent of that.

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners was established in New York 17 years ago and became known for its innovative work and successful guerrilla marketing tactics. Adweek named it the regional agency of the year in 2004.

REVIEW - Paul Tilley group creative director, DDB Chicago

The best newspaper advertising does two things: it drives sales in the short term and builds brands in the long term. And few brands do both as consistently as Target.

Given the immediacy of newspapers and the mindset of the newspaper reader, who we know is hungry for information, most advertisers grab the first opportunity to hammer the retail offer. They think they must save the brand sell, the emotion, for a medium such as TV.

But that's where most newspaper advertising falls horribly short. It shouts a price at you, but doesn't make you feel anything. And it kills the brand in the process.

Target, like our own retail clients Dell, JC Penney and others, knows that sales are made in the head and the heart. So it appeals to both.

Target consistently makes ordinary products seem aspirational and makes what others present as "cheap" seem "cool".

Target also finds a way to stand out visually. Everything about these ads - the look, the tone, the message - respects the reader. And it's mostly because of what Target's ads don't do. They don't insult your intelligence - or assume you're visually impaired - by pumping up the prices to 96-point type. They don't pack every square inch of their paid advertising space with selling, selling, selling.

What Target does is truly make the product, not the offer, the hero.

By striking an artful balance between price and image, it takes advantage of what newspapers can do: drive sales and build brand loyalty, day after day.

CREDITS Client: Target Agency: Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners Writers: Krista Wicklund, Paul Fix, Jenny Grant Art directors: Demien Oliveira, Jessica Sbarsky, James Edin Creative director: Rob Feakin

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