'Epic Quest' Digital Book Core To New Target Holiday Campaign

This holiday season, Target, its agency 72andSunny and digital production company MediaMonks are unveiling the retailer's so-called “transmedia” campaign that will roll out throughout the season.  

At the center of the project is the Odyssey Storybook: Three Kids, a Dog, and an Epic Quest to Light a Ridiculously Giant Tree. This 49-page digital book narrated by actor Neil Patrick Harris features interactive activities, moving pictures, sound effects and animation. 

Each week a new chapter will be introduced online through December 25. 

However, in a unique approach to holiday retail marketing, each of the 12 TV spots keep the continuity of The Odyssey Storybook by capturing milestones along the journey of its characters, Sophia, Nina, Jack and Bullseye, say agency executives.  



The first spot, for instance, showed the beginning of the tale as the three children fall into the storybook world where they volunteered to find a missing Christmas tree lightbulb. To drive traffic back to the site, there's a call out to the storybook link at the end of each chapter film. 

In-store signage will also advance as the story's plot plays out.  

"This year’s campaign for Target does something that traditional retail marketing doesn’t do," says John Boiler, CEO and founder of 72andSunny. "It tells a holistic story, one that resonates with families at this time of year as we all journey through the holiday season from anticipation to celebration, and all the twists and turns in between. It puts all of the retail sale messages in the context of the larger story." 

"The creative challenge was creating a story that had multiple entry points and could be accessed across different channels," says Boiler. "This meant we had to make sure the whole story could be partitioned into smaller, self-contained chapters that could be experienced passively or actively, together or singular, linear or modular, in English or Spanish, on TV, mobile, tablet or desktop." 

Meanwhile, Target is opening the Target Wonderland to shoppers on December 9 in New York City to combine the physical and digital shopping experience. The 16,000-sq-ft "fun house" recreates images from its TV spots, such as the “S.S. Free Shipping” Lego ship and a Rube Goldberg-like contraption that personalizes an ornament as they move through the space. 

This is the fourth year 72andSunny has worked with Target on its holiday campaign. 

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