Big brands have started to realize that if you want millennial audiences, traditional advertising is not the way to go. Target is making a branding splash by teaming up with popular video creators for a college dorm-themed campaign that lives where the millennials are, on YouTube.
Target will team up with YouTubers Todrick Hall, Anneorshine, Mikey Bolts, and iHasCupquake and use their various perspectives to create a webseries aimed at getting college-bound consumers to make Target their shopping destination. Hall kicks off the episodes with a teaser of what he does best, a musical number, when he takes two real roommates on a singing and dancing trip down Target’s aisles.
His actual episodes deal with creating a space for roommates Ronnie and Steve, with the help of designer Veronica Valencia. The series will showcase 16 episodes in all, released fully by August 16 in time for back-to-school shopping season, along with bonus clips offering decorating tips from the personalities. Each star will have a four-episode arc released daily during a single week, taking the room from shopping trip to finished dorm. Most importantly, the main videos will live on creators’ own channels with supplemental material existing on the Target channel.
“YouTube celebrities have a built-in fan base and get a ton of exposure,” Rick Gomez, senior vice president for brand and category marketing at Target, told The New York Times. “To engage the millennial guest, we need to be part of the ongoing conversation.”
It’s yet to be seen if the creators’ regular fans will flock to these obvious marketing videos, although in the past marketing partnerships have flourished on YouTube and been accepted by users. Hall, for one, is no stranger to musical numbers for corporate sponsors, as he created Virgin Atlantic’s popular safety video shown on flights. So far, the response to Hall’s first Target video is positive, with fans asking if they can have their rooms made over or congratulating Hall on securing the gig. Target may have hit the YouTube bullseye with this series.
Screenshot via Target / YouTube