New York’s Target Too Pop-Up Gallery: The Art of Thinking Outside the Big Box

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What’s a better way to make your brand be seen as high-brow and high-tech than to open a gallery in New York City’s arty Chelsea neighborhood?

That’s exactly what Target’s doing with its limited-time Target Too “brand experiment,” which brings brands found in Target stores together with high tech and chic design.

At a gallery pop-up installation that opened this week just off the High Line in Manhattan, visitors are “encouraged to download a mobile app that will transform the 12 murals, displays, sculptures and interactive stations into a design-meets-digital experience.”

On display are products like “EOS lip balms, Method soap, LEGOS, Beats by Dre Headphones and Threshold furniture,” exhibited in ways that encourage interaction, personalization, sharing and, of course, buying.

Greeted by a larger-than-life LEGOfied version of Target’s Bullseye bulldog mascot, visitors can get their selfies transformed into EOS lip balm dots, make a t-shirt with the print of their choice, or even design their ideal table setting as inspired by the display on the wall (and buy it on the spot).

Also engaging visitors and demonstrating the brand’s digital chops with a mobile app and augmented reality, it’s a brilliant strategy for tapping into the millennial audience who may see Target as the place their mom drags them to on weekends, and not a place they might shop on their own time.

Target goes as far to call the gallery “Instagram-worthy” and mentions that pieces are “posed for selfies,” showing that they’re catering to a younger, more selfie-savvy demographic, and banking on word-of-social-media to spread awareness.

So far, that word-of-social-media is great, with posts tagged #targettoo popping up across Twitter and Instagram.

As for why the name “Target Too” for the installation, Target explains in a blog post:

Target Too is the place where products come to play. It’s centered on expressing the meaning of the word “too” by offering something “more,” something “extra” in elevating, personalizing and evolving the Target experience. “Too” is also about inclusivity, which felt right since the space is open to all, and each piece in it is created from Target products that are beautiful, accessible and affordable. Together, these meanings express our promise of “Expect More. Pay Less.” in a new way.

This comes on the heels of Target’s recent “home for the holidays: pop-up collaboration with Rachel Schechtman’s STORY, also in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, which was a highly curated and continually refreshed “holiday-themed giftshop.”

Through experiential marketing and smart co-branded collaborations, Target is refreshing and evolving what it means to be a big-box retailer, while repositioning the brand with millennials, design mavens and social media influencers.

We’re curious to see if and how more traditional competitors will react, and how this will help change perceptions of the Target brand.

Below, check out how some fans are interacting with the branded pop-up:

Hungry for ANTIGRAVITY! #antigravity #targettoo #hungry

A photo posted by Kate G (@hopeinyou) on Mar 27, 2015 at 7:56pm PDT

#targettoo,@bethsusan52,#fueled4life,#pinefamilyfavorite

A photo posted by Nancy Perlman (@nbp44) on Mar 27, 2015 at 12:36pm PDT

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