On Oct. 11, Target began promoting the Christmas shopping season with a new ad featuring its dog mascot, Bullseye. “The holidays are coming!” the commercial warns, “and they’re going to be big!”
Retailers, of course, are known for trying to jump-start the Q4 gift-shopping season early. But this is ridiculous. The campaign began 20 days before Halloween, a month and a half before Thanksgiving, and a full 75 days before December 25.
Put another way, there was still an entire fifth of the year to go when Target began its Xmas execution.
The ad features a giant-sized Bullseye tromping through a snowy, light-decked New England town, and then dropping an oversized bag of gifts in the middle of Main Street.
In real life, much of October in New York saw sunshine and 70-plus degree temperatures. It was in the 80s and 90s in Los Angeles. Even in chilly Minneapolis, where Target has its HQ, the weather was balmy all month — it hit 78 Fahrenheit the week before the ad aired.
Target’s rationale, according to chief marketing officer Jeff Jones, is that it wants to reach the kind of hyper-organized person who is already planning their holiday season shopping:
“[There’s] a group that are planners, a group that are doers, and there’s a group that are procrastinators. We think about our strategy in terms of those people who earlier and earlier are planning for the holidays … There’s no magic on what the right start date is.”
Here’s the spot, from agency 72andSunny: