Friday, September 2, 2011
Target parts ways with longtime ad agency
This is old news (which broke back in May) but it's news to me. Target has ended its longtime relationship with ad agency Peterson Milla Hooks. The Minneapolis-based shop (with only 50 people) has been responsible for many of Target's most beloved campaigns over the last dozen years, including "Sign of the Times," "Color My World," "Design for All" and "Hello Goodbuy." It also produced campaigns to promote the retailer's popular design partnerships with labels such as Liberty of London, Michael Graves, Sonia Kashuk, and most recently, Missoni.
Back in 2009, Wieden & Kennedy was tapped as Target's lead agency, as the retailer made major changes to its agency structure. It had long relied on a roster of primarily boutique agencies, including Peterson Milla Hooks. Still, even with Wieden on board, PMH maintained responsibility for much of the retailer's style and design-focused marketing. Now all that business will be consolidated under Wieden & Kennedy.
To me, this news is puzzling, and I wonder if there were "corporate politics" behind the move. I work in marketing, and when managing creative agencies, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Meaning, if your client/agency relationship is good, and the agency is delivering what they promise, you don't go switching agencies. PMH put Target on the map and into the hearts and minds of consumers with intriguing, compelling TV spots. Their campaigns established the Bullseye as an advertising icon and further honed Target's status as the master of "cheap chic". I'd hate to see that status ruined with a change in creative direction.