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Target's early holiday ads pay off

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Mon, 12/11/2012 - 15:03
Ted Marzilli
Target early holiday campaign

Target’s gamble to launch its first US holiday ads in mid-October, way before any of its rivals, seems to have paid off. The retailer’s perception with moms took off and is still above pre-advertising levels.

Target’s TV ads, featuring Christmas décor and the chain’s famous Bullseye mascot, began airing three weeks before Halloween, and coincided with a positive reaction from mothers. During the same time frame Wal-Mar's perception dropped significantly for the same demographic. The campaign seemed to help Target leapfrog over Wal-Mart in perception when the campaign began, and is Target still ahead.

Target and Wal-Mart were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" Results were filtered for women age 18+ with children.

In early October, Wal-Mart had a buzz score lead over Target with mothers, of 32 over 26. After the Target campaign began airing steadily for a week, Target's buzz score moved up from 26 on October 16th to a peak of 46 on October 25th, and stayed there for two days before trailing off to its current 34 score.

Target passed Wal-Mart on October 17th, which had already begun its decline, sinking from a 33 buzz score on October 16th down to an 8 score two weeks later, creating a 31 points difference between the two chains. Wal-Mart has worked its way back a few points with mothers since then to an 11 score, still way behind Target’s 34 tally.

Buzz Scores for women age 18+ with children: Target, Wal-Mart
Buzz Scores for mothers: Target, Wal-Mart
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