Target takes parents back in time for Back-to-School

Target 2012 Back to School Ad Campaign

Target 2012 Back to School Ad Campaign

It’s the middle of summer, and the back to school blitz is on. Target has started things off with a particularly clever approach in a new multi-spot TV campaign designed to win the hearts and minds of middle-aged parents.

Each of these new spots from Wieden+Kennedy features a teacher singing about all the things the kids will need for the school year. They have the standard montage of products (delivered in an attractive way) and the happy, multicultural collection of kids that you would expect. That's not what makes them stand out for me. Here’s the slick part: each song is new lyrics over the music from a classic hit from the 80’s.

The English teacher belts out a new set of rhymes to the tune of the Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat”. The music teacher gives a new rendition of Cameo’s “Word Up!”. And to top it all off, the science teacher is rocking out to Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science”. Brilliant!

Back to school ads are 100% for the parents. Target and W+K picked songs that were hits back when today’s parents were school kids. Put that music in the context of school supplies and the back to school season and you have a natural recipe for nostalgia. Parents are transported back in time (with 25 years to erase any bad memories). As an extra little touch, so we can identify even more with the ads, the teachers in the spots look like they are just about our age.

Target: Back to School 2012 – English Teacher

Target: Back to School 2012 – Science Teacher

Target: Back to School 2012 – Music Teacher

These spots are a great example of really understanding your audience and finding a genuine way to connect with them. Got other examples of brands getting this right? Share them below!

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3 Responses to Target takes parents back in time for Back-to-School

  1. Claudia Candella says:

    who stars in the commercial for Target "notebooks and jeans" sung to the GoGos song we got the beat?

  2. Target Lover, Commercial Hater says:

    These commercials cause me to hit the mute button every time they come on–and I'm the generation they're supposed to attract. People who can't sing, and irony that doesn't work, and lyrics I can't understand.

  3. PAT says:

    What is the name of the actress who does the new Target (English Teacher) commercial? She also does a Progressive commercial (with "Flo").


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