Let It Snow…Target!

December 10, 2008

I’ve had a fascination with Target for as long as I can remember. The mere mention of the name typically gets me rambling on about how much I love that store with the big red bullseye. So my ears perked up when I heard the buzz about the cool new thing Target was doing this holiday season and had to learn more.

If you haven’t heard, Target is one of the companies that isn’t letting the down economy impact its experimental advertising budget this season. The retailer enlisted help from the mobile division of AKQA to create a holiday-themed iPhone application to help shoppers make gift selections in a fun and entertaining way. While I haven’t actually seen the application, it sounds pretty innovative.

Obviously the idea of providing gift ideas is nothing new, but Target has taken it to the next level by creating an application that essentially turns your iPhone into a snowglobe when shaken, resulting in a customized gift suggestion (based on some initial demographic information input by the user). You even can hop right over to Target.com to purchase the item or use the store locator to find the closest available product. 

It’s smart for several reasons. First, according to a story at mocoNews.net, Target’s research revealed that the iPhone was the number one device being used to access Target’s mobile site, so it’s very targeted for their audience. And, if you know someone with an iPhone or have one yourself, you likely are aware of the “show-and-tell” effect that occurs when this little gadget is in the presence of non-users.  Target’s holiday application provides yet another cool “trick” for iPhone owners to share with their friends. 

With the increasing amount of holiday clutter each year, it’s always interesting to see how marketers attempt to engage their intended audience (think Office Max’s Elf Yourself and the many copycat sites that followed) as they contemplate a myriad of purchasing decisions. 

What’s catching your attention this holiday season?