Target created queer-affirming spaces using storytelling video ads on Instagram and Facebook, as well as a virtual pride parade experience to encourage self-expression and creativity, and saw a 3.3-point lift in favorability.
Target is a general merchandise retailer. It has stores in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia—and seventy-five percent of the US population lives within ten miles of a store location. Target employs over 350,000 team members. Its tagline is "Expect More. Pay Less."
lift in favorability for Target
lift in ad recall
unique Instant Game players
Target wanted to deepen its engagement with—and commitment to—the LGBTQIA+ community by building allyship and authentic connections with this priority audience, as well as by providing a platform to amplify different community voices and perspectives.
Broad and bold ad campaigns
Target has consistently supported Pride Month every June, but wanted to take more of a stand and celebrate Pride year-round. So the company began amplifying stories from its LGBTQIA+ “guests” (customers) and team members with #TakePride on Target.com, which serves as a place of solidarity and allyship with the community
To further support these experiences, Target partnered with the team at Meta to build and run two broad and bold ad campaign approaches that were based on insights derived from Instagram research. The retailer aimed to drive more emotional connections with the community, and create an ecosystem of safe, inclusive queer-affirming spaces to celebrate diversity and self-expression.
Target showed the ads in these two campaigns to US adults aged 18–39, including those with an interest in the rainbow flag, gay pride, LGBTQIA+ culture or the LGBTQIA+ community and social movement.
In one campaign approach, Target focused on running video storytelling ads across Meta platforms, including Instagram. These ads variously celebrated the authenticity of queer brands and products from queer company founders, and amplified the personal stories of real Target employees and guests who articulated how they came out or expressed pride. Other ads showcased a Black, queer author whose book could be purchased in-store or online, and Target’s largest assortment of Pride-related merchandise to-date along with shoppable tags, with sales supporting LGBTQIA+ communities.
In the second campaign approach, Target ran click-to-play ads in Facebook Feed and Stories that linked to an interactive Instant Game hosted on the gaming platform on Facebook. Called Youth Pride, Your Vibe, the game launched at the same time as the 2021 New York City Pride event that Target sponsored. The game also served as a safe space where people could create custom avatars and participate in a virtual Pride parade.
When creating their avatars, players could choose their body type, or be represented by a cute or fierce animal, and pick their dance moves. They also selected accessories and outfits for their avatars, including Pride-related clothing that was also available for purchase at brick-and-mortar Target stores and online. The game then prompted players to share their avatar or other affirming video content with friends via Messenger, and invite them to play the game or party together at the virtual event.
Target determined the results of its June 1–30, 2021 campaigns using a brand lift study, which revealed that the campaigns drove:
- 3.3-point lift in favorability for Target
- 3.6-point lift in ad recall
- 25,000 unique Instant Game players
- 8 million people reached