Jeffrey J Jones II

Target Corp. said Tuesday that Jeffrey J. Jones 2nd,  executive vice president and chief marketing officer, is leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity, effective Sept. 9.

“Since joining Target in 2012 as our chief marketing officer, Jeff Jones has modernized Target’s marketing and helped drive Target’s strategy, creating momentum for the company and positioning Target for the future,” said the retailer’s chairman and chief executive officer, Brian Cornell. “He worked tirelessly to sharpen our focus on the guest and evolved our marketing capabilities to center on the important role digital plays in their lives.”

Jones shifted Target’s advertising strategy from one that relied heavily on print advertising to barely using the print medium at all. “We’ve pulled out almost entirely from print advertising,” Jones said last month. “Last September in Vogue was our last print ad.” In its place, Jones said Target has been producing videos for YouTube and testing Facebook with 10-seconds or less spots.

Target’s advertising also took an optimistic turn with bright colors under Jones, who recognized that [the consumer] “is going to Pinterest and Instagram to be inspired.”

“Under [Jones’] leadership, the team has produced a number of unforgettable brand moments, from the introduction of #MoreMusic during the [Grammy Awards], the industry’s biggest awards night to notable moments like our 2015 holiday campaign, which exceeded all previous brand measures,” Cornell said. “These campaigns not only drove the business, but created a deep, emotional connection with our guests. Because of his many contributions, Target continues to be among the world’s most recognized and beloved brands.”

Prior to joining Target, Jones was partner and president of McKinney, a Durham, N.C.-based advertising agency. Before McKinney, he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the Gap, where he was responsible for leading marketing strategy, retail store design, store experience and consumer communications, globally. He also managed Gap Inc.’s gift-card subsidiary, Direct Consumer Services LLC, as president of the division.

Cornell said Target’s marketing team is “well-positioned” as the retailer heads into the important holiday season. Target will begin a search, both within the company and externally, to find its next chief marketing officer.

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