Target Makes Big Hispanic Push, Banks on TV This Holiday Season

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Digital might be a marketing buzzword, but this year, Target Corp. is making a big push into TV for its holiday campaign. As a way of better connecting with its Hispanic shoppers, the 1,800-unit chain is increasing its media investment in TV by 21% this year compared with last year, and plans to air 16 broadcast spots—four more than in 2015, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced Tuesday. TV will make up more than a third of Target's marketing budget, which will also include a 55% investment in digital.

"We're recognizing the importance of television," said Rick Gomez, senior VP-marketing, noting that the medium also enables Target to leverage its red, white and bullseye iconography. "It allows us to tell engaging emotional stories and reach our Hispanic guests with Spanish language." He added that Target is increasing its Spanish-language TV investment by 67%.

The "Make the Holidays Spectacular" marketing centers around the story of a young girl directing a Broadway-style musical production called "The Toycracker" with her trusty co-director Bullseye the Dog. Popular toys and characters, including trolls, Barbie, Iron Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all help prep for the show in a series of spots running through early December.

"It builds on the idea of wonder and magic that we've found is a hallmark of the work Target has done," said Todd Waterbury, Target's senior VP-chief creative officer.

The retailer plans to air the actual eight-minute "Toycracker" production in two clips during ABC's broadcast premiere of Disney movie "Frozen" on Dec. 11. Celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend will star in the Toycracker as the Nutcracker and Rat King characters.

This marks Target's fifth year working with 72andSunny on a holiday campaign. The retailer also worked with its own internal marketing team, Target Creative, and Team Arrow.

"Now, more than ever, we look forward to the holidays as a time to come together and spread joy, but there's a lot of planning that goes into creating those memorable, spectacular moments," said Matt Murphy, partner and executive creative director at 72andSunny Los Angeles. "This modern spin on the Nutcracker reminds us all about the need for togetherness this holiday season."

Target is focusing its early November holiday marketing on channels such as the Food Network and HGTV, and social media like Pinterest as the campaign competes with the presidential election for consumer attention. The company is also planning exclusive musical offerings this year from Garth Brooks, and will air over two minutes of commercial time during the Country Music Awards on Nov. 2.

Since last year's online sales jumped 34% over the crucial holiday period, Target is again making e-commerce a focus this season by tripling its" order online, pickup in store" marketing. The chain, which will offer free shipping from Oct. 25 through Jan. 1, is also running more value messaging and will revive its 10 Days of Deals offering. Last year, Target spent $128.9 million in November and December on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

For the second quarter of this year, the 114-year-old retailer reported a same-store sales drop of 1.1% and revenue of $16.17 billion, down 7% from the year-earlier period. The company has said it expects same-store sales for the third and fourth quarters of the year in the range of flat to a 2% increase.