Inside Retail: What key message did you want to get across through this campaign?
Jamima White: The main focus of this campaign was to reclaim Target’s heritage and get back to what we think we’re famous for, which is affordable quality for everyday life. And so, the new campaign – it’s called Life Tested – is focused quite specifically on the quality and durability of our private products. Together with our creative partner AJF, we created this series of quite relatable and heartwarming commercials that tell the story of everyday family life. They show how Target’s quality stands up to the test. You can see that we’re starting with a number of kidswear items, our performance [running] tights, our homewares range…we’ve got a broad range of products that we’re going to be featuring across the life of this long-term campaign.
IR: Can you tell me more about the long-term plans for this campaign?
JW: Reclaiming Target’s heritage brand position is definitely something that’s a long-term focus for us in terms of our brand turnaround. We kicked off the rebrand at Christmas-time by launching the new platform and tagline, that’s Target. That was the first phase. This is the second phase, where we’re launching the quality element. We have about eight TV commercials that we filmed, but we’ve also got a much broader content ecosystem of videos, social media, and digital activations that we’ll be rolling out across the year. So it’s not a stop-start advertising program, it’s a program and a message that’s going to last through the rest of the year, and it may actually last longer. We’ll be taking feedback from customers, and seeing how it resonates with them through all of our research, and we’ll be making sure that we keep it really relevant to the message that we’re trying to get across: that’s quality, that’s value, that’s style, that’s Target.
IR: Why do you think that message resonates particularly well with customers right now?
JW: We based this campaign on an enormous amount of research. We went back to research from over a number of years to try and understand what was important to our customers at Target. And it became really clear that quality was the core brand position that resonated with customers. So that’s why we’ve anchored around quality. But I do think there’s a natural alignment at the moment with customers thinking about the emergence of sustainability and the ethical sourcing of clothing. And the thing that resonates really well is that our clothes actually can be worn again, they really are durable, and they don’t cost the Earth, so you can hand them down to your kids if you’ve got a growing family. They’re certainly not throwaway fashion. So we think that’s really resonating with customers at the moment.
IR: How does the look and feel and tone of this campaign differ from Target’s marketing activities in the past?
JW: We’ve tried to inject some playfulness and light-heartedness into our advertising. Telling family stories is the key focus from a tone of voice point of view, and I would say that is something that’s different. It’s not laugh out loud, but there’s a slight wry sense of humour in the stories. Everyone can say, ‘Yes, I’ve had that experience in my life.’ It was really important for me to make sure that customers felt the way we were talking to them was relevant.
From a production style [perspective], you’ll see that the second phase of the campaign that we just launched is very similar to the Christmas advertising campaign – showcasing different families across Australia in various family moments. That’s the style that will continue for some time.
IR: Can you tell me more about the digital aspects of this campaign?
JW: Customers keep increasing their expectations around online shopping, so there’s a huge focus on digital with this campaign. We are absolutely investing in YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, digital display advertising, and also really importantly, our own channels, such as Target.com.au, the Target app, and our Target social channels. Cut-downs of some of the TV commercials will be featured in these channels, but we’re also creating some new video content that will roll out across the year that talks about putting the products to the test.
But we’re also investing in traditional above-the-line media, in digital billboards, outdoor, all the online and digital TV channels. It’s important to be on free-to-air because you want to have that mass reach, but it’s really important to be across all the digital TV channels as well.
IR: What kind of response have you seen from customers?
JW: We do research for everything that we do from a campaign and advertising point of view, and we’re really confident that the initial phase of [the campaign at] Christmas set the stage for the tagline – that’s Target – and that the second phase will land that quality message that we’re trying to deliver.
Certainly our team members are really important stakeholders, and they’re loving this style of commercial and our new tone of voice. It’s great to get their feedback, because they’re on the ground talking to customers every day.
IR: What else do you want to say about the campaign?
JW: As a business, it’s clear that brand renewal is a key part of our strategy. That’s evidenced by the fact that we released our first brand campaign in seven years. So we’re certainly looking to the future, we’re really excited about online shopping, and we see this as a really long-term piece of work. We want our customers to love the brand, feel connected to Target, and in particular, we want mums and their growing families to feel that connection.