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