Bullseye Branding: How Target Fell in Love With Jane the Virgin

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Jane the Virgin Target

When a young, devout virgin gets accidentally inseminated, it can only mean one thing—telenovela gold! Millennial audiences and critics alike have been raving about Jane the Virgin, The CW’s telenovela-style hit TV series. Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane and won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, isn’t the only star of the show.

Target—with its brand promise of “Expect More. Pay Less.”—makes several cameos in the series. In fact, Target is no stranger to advertising to US Hispanics. According to Ad Age’s Hispanic Fact Pack 2014, Target ranked in the top 50 largest spenders in Hispanic media.

Brands have started paying more attention to the growing segment of Hispanic millennials as consumers and trendsetters. brandchannel spoke with Stevie Benjamin, Target’s VP Media Strategy, to learn more about the retailer’s strategy for its partnership with the series.

brandchannel: What prompted Target to connect with a telenovela-style show such as this?

Stevie Benjamin: Target identified this show right after it was announced at The CW’s upfront (2014/15 season preview for advertisers) last year. We quickly fell in love with its fresh approach to reaching a critical audience segment in Hispanic millennials.

bc: What approach did your team take to incorporate the brand into the show rather than just having a presence during commercial breaks?

Benjamin: Working with the producers, our strategy was to start slowly and authentically integrate the Target brand into Jane’s life. Once we established that Jane was a fan of Target, we then incorporated the brand more overtly, but still in a very organic way. It’s all about the character and how the brand naturally fits within her life.

bc: What has been the reaction to being a sponsor of the show?

Benjamin: We are pleased with the positive responses we’ve received. There’s been a significant amount of discussion on social media with the show’s fans supporting the partnership. In addition, measurement shows that it has been driving key metrics for Target around branding and shopping intent.

bc: How does advertising with a show that has a strong Hispanic influence fit with Target’s overall brand strategy?

Benjamin: Increasingly, Target’s guests are Hispanic millennials, and partnering with Jane the Virgin provides a unique opportunity to reach the bicultural Hispanic audience through content that’s relevant, engaging and entertaining.

bc: How are you incorporating the brand with show content off the small screen, such as social media, behind-the-scenes videos, vignettes, etc.?

Benjamin: It’s always important to Target to ensure we’re providing the guest a 360-degree experience. For Jane the Virgin, we have worked with show’s producers to create custom behind-the-scenes content around each character to give the viewer a deeper experience. We’ve also been focused on social media engagement. Across the board, we’re seeing fans are responding favorably to the content.

Jane the Virgin Target

bc: Since the show has a Hispanic influence, is any of your content in Spanish?

Benjamin: We incorporate both cultural and language cues into much of our content to reach the Hispanic guests in a relatable, authentic way. Specifically, for Jane the Virgin, we have run two different versions of our Spanish-language TV spots within the English-language broadcast on The CW.

—Jennifer Yepez is a tone of voice specialist based in Dallas

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