Posted by Abe Sauer on October 13, 2010 02:00 PM
Target, a brand that has dominated the big box retail branding landscape for years, appears to be in a slump.
After moving its branding operations in-house, Target appeared to have its finger on the pulse of a nation and successfully made shopping big-box almost sexy.
This is why the ad above is so distressing. The Target team appears to be out of touch with Americans' desire to do more with less, and be better engaged parents.
User comments on the YouTube spot tell the whole story here, proving the brand not only severely missed the mark, but went far enough to be insulting. Comments include:
• "this makes me sad, there are not enough moms out there who would spend 5 minutes with their kids and then they mock the ones that do."
• "homemade costume > storebought costume No amount of money will buy a mom's unconditional love. (Unless you're Candy Spelling)."
• "Shame on you Target. I'd rather have a light velcroed to my chest by mom who loves me than 20 dollars worth of ugly."
• "i'm sure this comment has already been made, but that costume is 100% cooler than the one you can buy at Target."
• and "Target thinks your mom sucks."
They're right, too. The ad is tone deaf in the extreme. Does Target not realize that the nation is still digging out of its economic quagmire and that the populist call of the day is to be more frugal and go back to "traditional" values (such as homemade costumes)?
Maybe the commercial would have been less insulting had the homemade costume been worse. But still, suggesting any product your brand sells as better than something a mom makes is a fool's errand.
Other big U.S. retail brands are doing their part to promote their Halloween products. Both Kmart and Wal-Mart have released videos (below) raising awareness for the popular costumes of the season. Yet, they have at least not am the mistake of belittling Mom in the process, a victory when compared to Target's ad.