Target is ramping up for its Canadian debut next March with a cross-country road tour of events in major cities.
Dubbed the “Target Holiday Road Trip,” the tour will start in Toronto, and will make its first stop on Nov. 30 in Halifax, according to an article in the Financial Post.
The event-marketing tour includes performances by artists, musicians, children's performers and comedians.
At the Halifax stop, Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent will read holiday stories, and children's entertainment group Razzmatazz will perform.
The tour stop will also include a craft and play zone for kids, holiday treats, and photo opportunities with Bullseye the dog, the retailer’s mascot, says the FP article.
This type of guerrilla tour is growing in popularity as a form of event marketing for brands, say experts.
Target's "we love Canada" marketing message is being communicated through its use of Canadian celebrities and the retailer's red and white Canadian banners and billboards featuring its bullseye logo with a heart and maple leaf.
“They are trying to put themselves on the ground with Canadians in an entertaining way instead of straight advertising, and to associate themselves with Canadiana rather than seeming like the big American corporation rolling in,” Adrian Capobianco, president of Toronto marketing agency Quizative Inc. told the Financial Post. “When brands do that, the intent is that the experience will carry beyond just the people who are impacted there on the ground. The end game is about public relations and media coverage.”
Target Canada spokeswoman Lisa Gibson said in the article that the company's goal is "to create a fun, family-friendly experience to celebrate the holiday season and the caravan enables us to make stops along the way. As we prepare to enter Canada, we are focused on getting to know our Canadian guests and what is important to them.”
The caravan will be making some 20 stops across the country and consumers will be able to track the tour on Target Canada's Facebook page Twitter feed.
Events will be announced in advance on social media.
The tour's final stop is in British Columbia in mid-December.