Target is pushing its private label offering with a new influencer-driven campaign that’s geared toward diversity across social, cultural and racial lines.
Launched this weekend, the campaign is centered on Target’s newest brands, A New Day (womenswear), Goodfellow & Co (menswear) and Project 62 (home decor) — as well as two of its older labels, Cat & Jack (kids clothing) and Threshold (furniture). It features a wide range of influential figures, including model Karolina Kurkova, style blogger Paloma Elsesser, chef Kristin Kish and pro soccer player Robbie Rogers. Alongside TV commercials and magazine ads, each celebrity involved will showcase how they put their own spin on the products via social media.
The company is also rethinking how it presents its products, both in-store and online. Goodfellow & Co’s page, for instance, will feature a special fit guide for its more style-minded male shoppers, while the Project 62 page will incorporate 360-degree videos, making it easier for customers to visualize how each piece might look in their home.
The public figures involved in the campaign are nontraditional, with each of them harboring once-perceived “flaws” that they now embrace. Karolina Kurkova, for instance, has publicly dealt with a thyroid problem that causes premature menopause; Robbie Rogers and Kristin Kish had very public experiences coming out of the closet; Paloma Elsesser is a curvy model, who has described herself as “not black enough.”
“They have glamourous, successful lives, despite these challenges and hardships, which is what Target is all about,” said Gil Eyal, the CEO of the influencer marketing platform HYPRBrands.
The campaign’s tagline — “inspiration for everyone” — is further reflected by the diversity of those involved.
It “speaks to the power of differentiation that our owned brands deliver for our guests and our business,” said Target’s chief creative officer, Todd Waterbury, in a blogpost.
Despite recent sales declines, the company’s private labels were responsible for 30 percent of its sales last year, a likely explanation for its launch of four new private labels that were first announced in July. (Joy Lab, a women’s activewear line, will roll out later this year.)
Falling back on the influencer marketing playbook — however obvious it is today — will only contribute to that success, said Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of the visual intelligence platform Dash Hudson. “These partnerships are really all about hitting specific segments within Target’s consumer base. By combining influencers from across lifestyle segments — fashion, food, sports — the campaign is more inclusive,” he said. “It has also mixed influencers with medium- and large-sized audiences, which helps to balance reach with authenticity.”
Paloma Elsesser, for example, has 90,000 followers on Instagram, compared to Karolina Kurkova’s 601,000 followers on the platform.
Such influencers continue to provide more powerful and cost-effective brand associations for retailers today than the so-called “merchant princes” they once relied on, argued Jason Goldberg, the senior vice president of commerce at the SapientRazorfish agency. For instance, “no high school girl in America cares what Mickey Drexler thinks is cool to wear,” said Goldberg, “whereas Paloma Elsesser has the power to strongly influence hundreds of thousands of girls.”