How Target Woofed Its Way to Shopping Success with Bullseye

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Behind Target Corporation’s famous Bullseye logo is another hugely popular icon that goes by the same name — Bullseye, their official brand mascot. Bullseye is a Bull Terrier who has starred in ad campaigns for the brand as early as the 1990s, winning over the hearts of fans and Target shoppers everywhere. As we head into the 2017 holiday season, let’s take a look back at the legacy Bullseye has made in Target’s ad campaigns over the decades.

Bullseye made his first introduction to the world in 1999 in Target’s “Sign of the Times” campaign. This was one of Target’s first branded commercial spots and one where the company Bullseye logo was slipped in a bevy of iconic places. There’s Bullseye lava in a lava lamp, Bullseye Jell-O, a Bullseye big wheel tricycle, and a Bullseye breakfast booth. The spunky pup showed up at the very end of the spot, completing the Bullseye family, and viewers immediately fell in love with the mascot.

He would return to national TV in 2003 in the “See. Spot. Save.” campaign. For the next couple of years, commercials ran depicting people from all walks of life seeking essentials that only Bullseye, and Target, could provide. The campaign worked to help Target message competitive prices in a fresh, upbeat, and meaningful way. In the above spot, Bullseye offered campers Charmin toilet paper to avoid using leaves in the woods while mountain climbers received Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup as a hearty treat for making it to the top of a snowy hill — and yes, the soup was already piping hot in a bowl waiting for them.

As the years pass, Bullseye continues to play a big role in representing the Target brand. Todd Waterbury, Target’s Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Office, says that the character is simply a universal darling. “Bullseye is an integral, beloved part of Target. He embodies a boundless sense of optimism and warmth that’s core to our brand, as well as an unconditional sense of joy to the Target family, and all families.”

The spokespup is featured in the front of the store at Bullseye’s Playground where he welcomes guests and draws them in with his fun, playful, and engaging nature. Many Target store locations also feature the Bullseye Bench. Here, kids of all ages can snap selfies and tag them with #TargetDog on social media platforms. Bullseye can also be spotted as a red carpet guest at Target-sponsored events surrounding the Oscars®, Emmys® and the Latin Billboards. He’s also in attendance at the 2017 Major League Soccer All-Star Game, makes appearances at store openings, and brings joy to children and their families at the St. Jude Target House.

This year, Bullseye played a starring role in the fall “More in Store” campaign, which launched Target’s newest collection of owned brands including A New Day and Project 62.

For the holiday season, Bullseye joined forces with kids and toys ranging from LEGO to Barbie and even Minions to turn an unloved house into the perfect home for the holidays in the “Together’s the Joy” campaign.

Rick Gomez, Target’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, notes that Target is truly at its best when they capture joyful moments with those who matter the most. We agree, and as mascot lovers we also think Target is at its best when Bullseye is back to being in the spotlight and a central part of the narrative — with that added touch of holiday magic.

Heather Taylor

Icon Researcher & Blogger at Advertising Week
Heather Taylor

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