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Target’s “Shopping Lady” Is Ready…And Works

12/17/2010

From Ad Age – “Target came out swinging with its Black Friday effort this year. For the second year, it’s tapped comedian Maria Bamford, who has ties to Target’s hometown of Minneapolis. Agency Wieden & Kennedy produced 10 15- and 30-second spots to promote the discounter’s two-day sale, and they ran between Nov. 17 and Nov. 27. Those TV spots and other original clips –20 in all– also worked pretty well on the web, and the campaign landed on the Viral Chart last week at No. 2.

Ms. Bamford, as an overly passionate, hyped-up holiday shopper, prepares in Rocky-esque fashion for the holidays. She wraps gifts while consulting a stop watch, does bicep curls with a shopping basket and sprints down Target’s aisles. In one spot she lays in bed covered in alarm clocks, intent on not sleeping in and missing Target’s 4 a.m. opening. Depending on your point of view, the spots are either incredibly annoying or completely hilarious.

And that’s the point. In an interview with Ad Age this fall, Michael Francis, Target’s chief marketing officer, admitted that the spots could be polarizing. A year ago, they were heavier on dialogue and story line. This year, Mr. Francis says Target let Ms. Bamford “revel in the character of the passionate holiday shopper. … It’s fun exaggerating those manic shopper tendencies.”

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