Target fires ad agency Wieden & Kennedy [VIDEO]

Categories: Target
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After a disappointing holiday season, Target dropped its lead ad agency.
Fresh off news that Santa gave Target a lump of coal this Christmas, the company is making changes.

Target has dropped Portland-based Wieden and Kennedy, the company's lead advertising agency for the past six years.

In a statement, Shawn Gensch, Target's vice president of marketing, said:
Target is proud of what we accomplished with the Wieden and Kennedy team. Looking forward, we are focused on continuing to identify fresh and innovative ways to tell Target's brand story, and will leverage both our internal expertise and our strong roster of agency partners to help accomplish our marketing goals in 2012 and beyond.
Wieden & Kennedy was responsible for the polarizing "Christmas Champ" commercials that you may have seen during each of the last couple holidays seasons. On a Star Tribune comment thread, most respondents cited their distaste for the commercials as a reason they support Target's decision to change ad firms.

One commenter said:
This is a good move. In the past, Target commercials were a little edgy --and made me want to shop there. But this Christmas ad campaign was absolutely bizarre -- and obnoxious.
Another commenter cited Target's less-than-expected holiday sales and said he took the move to drop Weiden & Kennedy as a signal that company management is "attempting to do something about it."

As for whether the company's recent Christmas commercials were any good or not, you be the judge. Here's one that ran this past holiday season:

And another:

Hard to believe there isn't an ad agency in Minneapolis capable of doing better, no?
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8 comments
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mscarduzio
mscarduzio

I miss the crazy Target Lady. It made me laugh, and it was all in good humor. The 2012 ads are just uninspiring. Bring her back...I was hoping to see her doing something new and all I got was a dumb dog with a shopping bag....blah blah blah.

Nurscandyd
Nurscandyd

This is a huge mistake...if you don't bring back the target lady I doubt you'll get a good response from the real consumers who actually shop at target, we LOVE THE TARGET BLACK FRIDAY LADY!!!

Chris
Chris

I liked those ads. Christmas is NOT like what you see in the movies. Its not about the white two story house with the kid running down the stairs. 

tedd brown
tedd brown

Check your facts City Pages, W+K did not have a 6 year relationship with Target.

Allen, W+K took over the lion's share of the business 3 years ago.  By that I mean they worked on holiday 2009 which is the biggest marketing push then moved to take over most branding by end of 2010 with "life's a moving Target". 

Given the economy, Target wanted to drive "value" and ditched the aspirational advertising PMH had been creating for years -- the marketing that made Target what it is in the first place.  Personally I found these ads insulting to the brand and any consumer. 

Target, how'd you let W+K talked you into making a batsh*t crazy mom your primary spokes person?

Chris
Chris

I shop at Target and I wasnt insulted. I thought they were funny. If you got offended over a TV ad then you are WAAAAAAAY to sensitive. 

liz
liz

this is funny cuz W&K just opened a new MPLS location on 8th and Hennepin like 3 months ago.

allen
allen

How informed are you, City Pages? 

Peterson Milla Hook ad agency here in Mpls did the bulk of their advertising up until a year or two ago when they went primarily to Weiden. Looks like Weiden fucked it up, hopefully Target will learn from their mistakes and keep things back in MN where they belong.

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