Target Invades the New Yorker

by Marianne Richmond on August 19, 2005

Maybe the red and white beach ball on the cover of my August 22nd New Yorker should have been a clue. Since I missed that clue….flipping to the content page left no doubt as the familiar red target played ring toss on the Empire State Building. Further flipping revealed the truth: Target was the only advertiser in my
New Yorker. I quickly turned to Google for further investigation.

I must have missed the news! Slate has the James Michener version for any of you Targetophiles out there but the announcement was available from Stuart Elliot and the New York Times, Media Week, Yahoo News, and other usual media suspects.  And of course people blogged about it here and there.Even Target Employees were up on it. let me just say that I AM a Target shopper…no Seinfeld Tar-zhay pronunciation necessary. Target is fun. Wal-Mart is not. Enough said. And I know that Target now has NYC locations. When I lived in NYC pre-Target I missed Target. I am sure many New Yorkers are happily pushing their carts up and down the aisles at Target at this very moment. No doubt, Target should advertise to New Yorkers and New Yorker Magazine readers. No pun, Target should target.

But, I love reading the New Yorker. I look forward to it. I was just thinking the other day when a renewal notice came for Newsweek that I really didn’t read it any more….that the New Yorker was the only print publication that I still did read. So….all that said, I really found the Target advertising in the New Yorker intrusive. Intrusive. Not artistic, not compelling or interesting. Intrusive.

Back in my early days in brand marketing, someone at Ralston Purina said, if I may paraphrase by memory, that if you wanted a high recall score you could just put a cat through a meat grinder. This came to mind as I was deciding what to read first and kept getting intruded upon by red circles.  Or, am I just being a grumpy aging Baby Boomer, again?



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