Posted by: bahughes13 | May 14, 2012

Fresh can be fun, but…

Target is trying really, really hard with its fresh food campaign. In fact, in doing a few Google searches, I found some really entertaining kinds of PR tactics the company has tried in other markets, including double-decker bus wraps and grocery bag trucks.


These are interesting and somewhat entertaining. They actually make me think about buying my fresh fruit at the same place I buy my kids’ clothes and household cleaning products. But, while the campaign has been running for about two years in other markets, it only recently hit Portland. And by “hit,” I mean with a confusing thud. I just don’t get it.

There are billboards all over town with slogans like “Salads for Cyclists” and “A Mountain of Food for Portland.” Huh?

I get it in a think-through-it-kind of way that this is an example of how Target is trying (trying too hard, if you ask me) to personalize the campaign in each market. Yes, we like the outdoors, and yes, some of us actually take our bikes out and ride them. However, I shouldn’t have to try to figure out the slogans driving 55 miles an hour down the road. Pictures and logo are high quality. Slogans? Not so much.


  1. Now more than ever, it is extremely important for organizations to really know their audience AND know what they want. In this case, Target missed the boat. Cyclists don’t want salads. We want good quality nutritious food that is satisfying. Does that equate to salad? Not in my thesaurus. Portlanders don’t want “mountains” of food. We want the right amount of food without being watsteful. Mountains of food equates to “overkill” in my book.

    So, while Target thought they were being cute and playful with words that were savvy to Portlanders. They actually were speaking to the wrong audience in the wrong language. Yes, people may understand what Target is trying to do. But will they feel like Target is really speaking to them? Probably not. As a result, I’m personally not impressed by the thought put into the Target campaign in the Portland market. I would have rather seen their adds speak to bringing increasing access to affordable, local (and organic) foods. Something that many of their competitors are not able to dually capitalize on (affordable and local/organic). Now this would have been something to talk to us about.

  2. It seems the truck and bus would have played well here too, maybe they were worried that since they weren’t electric vehicles, it wouldn’t be “Portland” enough. The slogans they used in this market do seem like they are trying too hard to take advantage of Portlanders as foodies, bicyclists and even Mt. Hood. Maybe because this market is so far ahead in the fresh food, buy local movement these slogans seem like pandering. I wonder how they would go over in other cities with different personas:

    Salads for Starlets
    Artichokes for Actors
    Radishes for Rednecks
    Carrots for Cops
    Lemons for Longshoremen
    Mushrooms for Miners
    Potatoes for Politicians

    (…that was fun…)

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