In Target's first holiday spot, two children—and Bullseye! the dog—find a house in need of some holiday spirit. So they enlist characters representing almost every name from the retailer's toy shelf, such as Barbie, Lego Bagman, minions, My Little Pony's Pinkie Pie, Darth Vader and Trolls, to decorate the house for a "super special family."
Running Nov. 1, the spot is the first of 10 focusing on how the kids and toys get the home—incidentally, the same house Target is selling in dollhouse form -- as part of its new in-house brand Hearth & Hand with Magnolia from Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's "Fixer Upper" fame—ready for the holidays. The holiday campaign is called "Together's the Joy."
"Not only is it a fun way to integrate this beautiful new, only-at-Target brand, it introduces that sense of magic and wonder that's always been part of our holiday marketing," says Todd Waterbury, chief creative officer.
Last year, the Minneapolis-based retailer ran a Nutcracker-themed campaign with the likes of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen; in 2015 it broadcast an Odyssey-like journey. Now, as Target strives to compete with Amazon, the company is putting more focus on its private-label brands, a dozen of which it is in the process of releasing.
The holiday effort is also designed to expand beyond last year's Hispanic-targeting effort to be more inclusive. Chief Marketing Officer Rick Gomez said last month at a media event that Target missed an opportunity in 2016 by not marketing to empty nesters, teens and families without kids.
New spots will also run in Spanish versions, and will include celebrities such as Jaime Camil from TV show "Jane the Virgin" and home décor expert Nate Berkus. Last year, Target spent $148.3 million on measured media in the U.S. in November and December, according to Kantar Media, and it will increase its budget this year by a percentage in the mid-single digits.
The company, which reported a 1.3 percent increase in comparable sales for the second quarter and will report third-quarter results this month, worked with Deutsch L.A. on the new TV spots.