VIDEO: Marketing books a room at the Target Hotel

Retailer takes over boutique hotel to further tease its looming Canadian debut

Though Target isn’t opening stores in Canada until next year, the retailer continues to tease its northern debut with experiential events, most recently at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The retailer partnered with the newly opened Templar Hotel for the first four days of TIFF as a way of celebrating design, pop culture and innovation, said Lisa Gibson, spokesperson for Target Canada.

The 27-room Target Hotel served as a home for bloggers, influencers and Canadian stars during the festival. Jeffry Roick, of upscale event planning firm McNabb Roick, along with the retailer’s internal team transformed it into a brand experience with red decorative accents such as pillows, flowers and carpets. The red and white prints that hung in the hotel’s lounge were brought in from the retailer’s head office in Minneapolis. Brand ambassadors handed out coffee and chocolates outside the hotel.

At the end of their stay, guests of the hotel were invited to take decorative pieces home with them, in a bag provided by the retailer.

On Saturday night, CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi hosted a late night fete in the hotel’s lounge with media personalities such as Kirstine Stewart, Dan Levy, Designer Guys Steve and Chris, George Stroumboulopoulos and Jeanne Beker in attendance. Target’s bull terrier mascot, Bullseye, had a permanent position on the red carpet for photo ops as guests arrived.

The hotel is one in a string of event marketing initiatives the retailer has hosted in recent months as a way of introducing the brand to Canadians and giving them a taste of what to expect from next year’s launch.

Earlier this year Target opened a one-day-only pop-up store in downtown Toronto with famed Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu, and more recently held beach party events in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

The hotel takeover is a first for the brand. Gibson said Target would continue to “surprise and delight” consumers through specially planned marketing tactics once the stores open next year.

Videography by Pam Lau

Check out what other brands are doing for the Toronto International Film Festival

Brands Articles

Canada’s Hottest Ads – The good and bad of Mother’s Day ads

Rain 43's John Farquhar finds mom spots both charming and predictable

Lasik MD campaign has its sights on millennials

Print, direct mail, OOH, radio touts financial benefits of laser vision correction

How to improve in-store signage

Signs alert shoppers to deals and promotions, but also express your brand

Managing Digital: Reckitt Benckiser’s VP marketing

VP to agencies: understand consumers' digital behaviour and deliver KPIs

On The Move: Changes at FCB, eBay, Defy and Hill + Knowlton

A weekly recap of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Gap’s 1Q profit falls as it attempts turnaround

Banana Republic and Gap banners continue to struggle, while Old Navy flourishes

Campaign for weight-loss firm gives the skinny on diet fads

Dr. Bernstein effort from Giants & Gentlemen includes TV, online and OOH

Best Buy revenue slips as it closes Future Shop

Electronics retailer cites "ongoing softness" in the local market as reason for decline