Just a few weeks after my blog post about Target’s disappointing Fresh campaign, I noticed that the retailer replaced the ads with brand new ones. Did they read my blog, I narcissistically wondered/secretly hoped? (A CBXer with a close friend in senior management at Target said that his friend actually sent my blog to muckety-mucks at the retailer.) More likely/almost certainly, the company was reacting to broader criticism, and whipped out a 2.0 version of the campaign within just a few months of the first launch.
And I am happy to report that this new campaign is MUCH more impactful than its predecessor. Not only is it better looking from a purely aesthetic perspective – it is also totally on brand for Target. In one of the split-screen ads, an adorable little girl (who could be a mini Solange Knowles) gives a disapproving glance at a plain piece of broccoli at left, while at right, we get a beautiful shot of Target’s private label shredded cheddar cheese. Right there, you have the attitude, lightheartedness and slight edge that have given Target such widespread appeal. I’ve only seen a few more ads from the campaign, but they are all equally as successful.
Last week, Target fired Weiden+Kennedy as its lead ad agency and is bringing most of its design work in-house, farming out occasional campaigns to boutique agencies. I wonder if the Fresh campaign played any kind of role in that decision. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how future campaigns are affected by the shift moving forward. As a long-time Target fan, I’ll be watching with bated breath.