Target will officially open its Canadian stores in just a few months.
Instead of a traditional ad blitz, Target is unleashing an avalanche of initiatives to build goodwill and positive brand buzz, all across Canada.
For example, the company's holiday caravan bus recently left Toronto for a high profile coast-to-coast tour.
Its first stop in Halifax will feature free special events and product sampling . . . and then the bus rolls westward for more than a dozen stops. "Our goal is to create a fun, family-friendly experience to celebrate the holiday season and the caravan enables us to make stops along the way," explains a Target spokesperson.
Showcasing corporate citizenship, Target is asking its Canadian Facebook friends (430,000 strong) to vote for the causes and nonprofits to receive up to $1 million in donations, with timeline posts in French and English.
Finally, Target is seeking LEED environmental certification to demonstrate that its 124 stores are eco-friendly. The bulls' eye may be red and white, but Target knows many shoppers have an eye for green marketing as well.
Needless to say, Canadian retailers are watching Target carefully to see how this new competition will affect their customers.
Meanwhile, Target is saying "Joyeux Noël" and "Bonjour Canada" with personality as it readies for the grand openings in 2013.