Coachella, it wasn’t.
But while Target Corp.’s inaugural Ultimate Family Festival celebrating the April 14 launch of Hunter for Target didn’t come close to the scale of the larger event – nor was it intended to – it was an admirable effort with performances by OneRepublic, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Troye Sivan and DJ Questlove, among others. Target is leveraging the festival as a backdrop to capture content for its marketing campaign, and extending the concept of families celebrating — rain or shine — with mini-festivals in several major markets on launch day.
At Ultimate Family Festival, Tiffany Haddish struck a relaxed pose on a hammock; Jenna Dewan Tatum and Anna Kendrick shopped at the pop-up shop; Hailee Steinfeld hung out in the VIP area, and Kate Bosworth, played Welly Wanging on the lawn, a game that involves trying to throw a Hunter boot boomerang-style into a basket. Meanwhile, Cat Deeley tried on boots and DJ Kitty Cash did her thing at the turntable.
“Hunter’s spirit is about the emotional connection of wearing our product tied to an experience or moment, from the memories of [attending] a first festival to kids jumping in puddles,” said Alasdhair Willis, creative director at Hunter, adding that both brands, which share similar values and spirit, wanted ensure this would be central to the Hunter for Target launch.
Consumers who couldn’t attend the free event at the Pasadena Rose Bowl — Target distributed 7,500 tickets and the venue holds 5,000 — can take advantage of one of the mini-festivals at Target units in Glendale, Colo., Fort Lauderdale and Houston on April 14, when Hunter for Target bows in about 800 stores and at target.com.
Target is collaborating with the British heritage brand on a limited-edition lifestyle collection for men, women, babies and toddlers, whose aim is to bring families together to enjoy the outdoors.
Hunter for Target consists of more than 300 items such as boots, sandals, jackets, backpacks, duffels and accessories, priced from $5 to $80, with most under $30. The outdoor and home categories feature hammocks, sunshades and coolers, among other products, many of which are firsts for Hunter.
The partnership inspired novel approaches for Target. The retailer used the festival to capture content for the marketing campaign. Images were reviewed and approved at the event site so that they could quickly be shared with the world through social media.
“We’re absolutely looking at how to take the results and learnings from Hunter for Target and apply them to future campaigns, whether it’s a design partnership or any marketing campaign for Target,” a spokeswoman said, adding, “So far, social activity and chatter have been really promising.”
An exclusive program on April 7 offered Red Card cardholders early access to purchase exclusive items in select colors. Within a number of hours the retailer sold through all the product for Red Card holders, according to the spokeswoman.
The 160-year-old Hunter didn’t become associated with fashion until 2005, when Kate Moss wore a pair of boots to Glastonbury, a five-day festival near Pilton, Somerset, England. Suddenly, the rubber boots or wellies, as they’re called in the U.K., were in style. “We’re coming up on the festival season,” the spokeswoman said, “which is perfect for Hunter boots and rain ponchos.”
The local festivals at Target stores will be powered by Daybreaker, the early-morning dance movement in 23 cities around the world. Events will begin at each location at 7:30 a.m. with music and giveaways until doors open at 8 a.m.
There will be an opportunity to personalize Hunter for Target purchases during the mini-festivals. After shopping the collection, consumers will move to the parking lots, where DJs will provide motivational background music for face-painting, a glitter bar and games such as barrel Frisbee. After that, there will be a short time-out for some relaxing Zen moments with yoga. The event will culminate with an all-out dance party, interrupted at times by break dancers to keep up the energy of the crowd. Youth dance troops will also perform.
Hunter’s Willis said that by engaging the local community, and turning the excitement and expectation of a store line into a celebration, the mini-festivals “complete a unique approach to the partnership. We delivered many firsts, rethinking the traditional launch strategy and placing the consumer experience and engagement at the heart of our activity.”
“We’re always looking to challenge ourselves to think about our work differently,” said Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “This design partnership is great example of that. I’m excited to see how these efforts influence the way guests shop the collection. I’m looking forward to evaluating how we can apply these learnings to future Target campaigns.”