As you may know, Target partners with many top music artists to offer exclusive bonus tracks to our guests, on Target deluxe versions of their albums.  We have a long history of artist partnerships, which have included Taylor Swift, P!nk, Prince, Christina Aguilera, and Beyonce.  While we of course love what these partnerships do for album sales, the marketing team recognizes the great value that they have for the overall Target brand as well.

Last month, you may have seen the creative commercials promoting Justin Timberlake’s new album, “The 20/20 Experience”.  Target teamed up with the six-time GRAMMY-Award winning artist to offer a deluxe edition with two bonus tracks, exclusively at Target.

During the GRAMMY awards, JT performed the super-catchy “Suit & Tie” single, and then Target followed his performance with the exciting announcement of the partnership in the commercial, “Mic”.  However, my favorite spot was even more clever in my opinion – Target found some of JT’s “Superfans” and asked them to introduce the new album through song.   What they didn’t know was that Justin would walk up and surprise them during their recording, and I must say their reactions are priceless!

To my delight, my fellow marketing teams also shared a video that shows “The Making Of” behind the Superfan commercial.  I not only love the enthusiasm of every one of those fans, but I laugh at JT’s different approach (might I call them antics?) to surprising them each time.  You can just tell that he was having a blast.  In fact, a colleague that worked with him shared that Justin even commented, “This was the most fun I’ve ever had making a commercial!” after the shoot for Superfans had wrapped.  A huge win for Target and JT alike.

And did I personally get to meet Mr. Timberlake, you might ask?  Alas, I did not :-(.  But while I can’t promise that you’ll get to work with the music celebs if you join the Target marketing team, you very well may be involved in making the partnership come to life.  Teams such as Event Marketing, Brand and Category Marketing, In-Store Marketing, Public Relations, Weekly Ad Marketing, Marketing Effectiveness, etc. are all involved in some part of the process from the early planning stages (started shortly before Christmas), to execution in store, to the tracking of the campaign’s success.  And just how successful was it?  Well, the JT partnership garnered over 2.5 million paid and earned media impressions, “The 20/20 Experience” gained the honor of being the 3rd best selling album in Target’s history, and Justin Timberlake is now the best selling male artist at Target since 2002.

And in case you’re curious, you can still buy “The 20/20 Experience” exclusive CD, available in Target stores or Target.com.  🙂


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