Target, which will open its first Canadian stores next year, is embarking on a holiday road trip from coast to coast.
A branded Target bus will stop in communities large and small to celebrate the holidays with artistic performances and other surprises. The tour kicks off in Halifax on Nov. 30 and concludes in B.C. in mid-December.
“As we’ve done with our previous events, we wanted to get out there and meet Canadians and share some first-hand experiences with our brand,” said Livia Zufferli, director of marketing at Target Canada. “We felt [the road trip] was a really nice way of connecting with the country to spread cheer during the holiday season.”
The Halifax event will include readings of holiday stories by Canadian icon Gordon Pinset, comedian Shaun Majumder and children’s entertainment group Razzmatazz. Guests can also participate in a craft and play zone and get their photo taken with the Target mascot dog, Bullseye.
Aside from the kick-off event, Target is being secretive about its tour stops. “In some cases we’ll keep it a surprise until the last minute, but you’ll know which cities we’re going to a few hours or a few days in advance,” said Zufferli.
The holiday tour is the latest in a string of event-marketing initiatives Target launched throughout 2012, including beach parties, Montreal Fashion Week events and a hotel takeover during the Toronto International Film Festival. The idea is to introduce Canadians to the brand and give them a taste of what to expect when Target opens its 124 Canadian locations, starting next year.
“It’s really been a platform for us to share what the brand values and what makes us a bit different,” said Zufferli. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to gather some feedback and really understand what the Canadian [customer] mindset is.”