Target gets set to launch collection with Toms

Retailer pulls out all the stops ahead of November debut

Target is putting some heads together to promote its partnership with Toms. The retailer, which is launching the Toms for Target collection on Nov. 16, created the “Together Sweater,” which has multiple head holes for many people to wear at once. The sweater appeared on the Nov. 10 episode of Ellen, when host and Target partner Ellen DeGeneres invited audience members on stage to try it on. The sweaters aren’t for sale at Target, but the retailer is sending a few to media personalities and influencers to promote the “One for One, For All” campaign. Using the same philanthropic model as Toms, which gives away one pair of shoes for every pair sold, Target and Toms will donate a blanket, meals or shoes for every item sold in its limited-edition collection. “It’s a partnership that gave us the opportunity to provide our guests with a more meaningful way to shop, which we feel is important during the holiday season,” said Target Canada spokespersonKalynn Crump. The collection includes women, men and kids apparel, as well as home accessories. Each item has a tag denoting where the donation is going, for example, a women’s poncho “gives 1 blanket to those in need.” In Canada, Target will donate the monetary equivalent of the items to the Canadian Red Cross and Food Banks Canada, and Toms will donate shoes to children in need. Target is relying primarily on public relations to get the word out. When the partnership was announced in September, Target Canada did media and influencer outreach via social and traditional channels. “We really relied on them to help generate buzz and excitement around the collection,” said Crump. Target Canada debuted the Toms for Target collection at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto in October, and has been promoting it on Twitter with the hashtag #TomsforTarget. Target also partnered with ET Canada, which is airing a series of exclusive segments on the collection beginning Nov. 11. And a celebration event for media and the charitable partners is being held in L.A. on Nov. 12. The Together Sweater, meanwhile, is another social media play. There’s a two-, four-, six-, eight- and 10-headed sweater, and Target is seeding them with influencers in the U.S. and Canada to “wear and then post what they’re doing while wearing the sweater,” said Crump. “It’s about cozying up and trying to do things together… whether that’s trying to gift wrap or drink cocoa on the couch. It’s just a means of celebrating being together.” Target Canada is also getting its employees involved in its charitable efforts. Last week, employees volunteered at five Food Banks Canada affiliate locations across the country. Target is also donating $2,000 each location to purchase food and supplies as an extension of the Toms for Target collection. This article originally appeared in Marketing Magazine.

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