Commentary

Music & Charitable Giving Key to Back-to-School Success For Old Navy, Target

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, September 4, 2015
A notoriously difficult season to catch consumers’ attention, back-to-school is a crucial time of the year for retailers to increase sales in an overcrowded space. In order to be successful, brands need to create campaigns that rise above the noise. This is where Old Navy and Target set themselves apart. By creating campaigns that closely resemble music videos with catchy tunes, they successfully captured the attention of their target market.

Released at the end of July, Old Navy’s “#Unlimited” branded video campaign generated the most views of any back-to-school campaign so far this year: more than 13.4 million views. The campaign is a music video with an original song sung by talent from the AwesomenessTV YouTube channel. This campaign is not only a fun music video where kids are singing and dancing, but it also relays a positive overarching message. The video takes place in the halls and classrooms of a school and the song’s lyrics are about being strong, bold, and brave. The inspirational lyrics came from interviews with Boys & Girls Club members, and the whole campaign is tied to a fundraiser Old Navy is promoting for the Boys & Girls Club.

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Target also launched a branded music video campaign titled “Jeans Jam” at the end of July. The campaign features reality TV star Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms, along with other talented young dancers. The upbeat and exciting choreography captures viewers’ attention, while also showing off the stretchy and stylish jeans Target has to offer. Target’s video campaign generated a ton of buzz online, garnering over 3.3 million views total, with over 500,000 views coming from copies of the video that have been uploaded. Target’s branded video campaign is also tied to a charity, the Kids in Need Foundation. For each free download from SoundCloud of Tori Kelly’s recording of “ABC,” the song in “Jeans Jam,” Target is donating $5 in school supplies to the Foundation.

Both brands took a similar approach that proved to be the right strategy for a successful viral campaign for this back-to-school season. Both music video-themed campaigns were fun, upbeat and entertaining, and appealed to both kids and parents. The performers featured in each video are from a popular YouTube channel or TV show—easily recognizable and relatable for kids. Additionally, parents can certainly connect with both brands on another level with children-focused charities.

Target and Old Navy’s approaches turned the seasonal event into upbeat campaigns that helped set each brand above the rest. Additionally, the fundraiser tie-ins helped garner positive feelings toward the brands, making consumers feel better shopping at these stores knowing they offer charitable support, and that consumers themselves can help with that charitable support too.

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