Target's Bullseye University experiment

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Shoppers are becoming harder to reach, and college students represent a particular challenge given their digital media habits. Target is approaching that challenge with a bold move called Bullseye University that combines reality-like streaming TV with a heavy dose of social opportunity.  Read more about it in Thomas Lee’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article.

To us, this is a good illustration of just how far marketers will go to push the envelope to get their job done in today’s world.  It also highlights a trend that's been bubbling to the surface across society in the past few years: the intentional blending of real and artificial experiences.

BMC POV:  Expect more and more marketing to leverage the blending of real and artificial experiences in both digital and traditional media.  The result of the blending will likely be a good way to drive purchases and sales in the short term, but only time will tell if it’s going to be effective in building the kind of long-term loyalty Target is seeking to initiate through this project.

Here are clips of two of the participants explaining how it works and what viewers will get:

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Mohamed Amer said:
Target is competing for the attention of their future customer base today. They're going where that segment spends time to get their attention using a medium that 'connects' with them while sharing useful content for the college crowd. It's an extremely fuzzy line between reality and make belief in today's virtual world where 'real people' become actors and 'actors' pop in as real people.

Once the're engaged (physical store or online), Target will have to ensure their assortment, visuals, inventory, and store associates emphasize and extend the "TARGET Experience" that started at Bullseye U.