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#CreatedWith Economy: Target at the GRAMMYs

Who cares about Kanye, do you realize what Target did at the Grammy’s? Access. Exclusivity. Impact.

If you’ve followed our recent pieces on the #CreatedWith Economy you’d expect that we’d be primed to talk about how CBS, the Academy, and certain brands actively embraced and #CreatedWith fans during the Grammy’s. That’s exactly what we planned to talk about right up until that brilliant moment when Target broke from the traditional sponsored vignette, with a somewhat forced social call to action, with a dubious payoff for fans, and instead actually gave the Grammy audience what they really wanted (or dare we say, desperately needed)…a rock and f&*$ng roll performance! And in doing so they hit on the core tenants of what creates true fan engagement: Access, Exclusivity, and Impact.

Similar to watching Kanye jump on stage and his subsequent post show rant, when Imagine Dragons started playing we were wondering when it would stop. We were expecting a 30 or 60-second tease and then a CTA to see the whole performance at Target.com (insert groans of frustration), but no, they gave fans what they wanted — the entire performance — way to #BeBRAVE! And for those that weren’t targeted on social, rest assured there was quite a bit of pre- and post-performance engagement on social. In fact, there’s already been somegreat coverage of how this played out across platforms — particularly around how it was teased on social, leveraged vine/snapchat influencers (um, #CreatedWith), tied to the broadcast, etc…so here’s a “hat tip” to great coverage.

But what we want to stress is how spot on Target was (excuse the pun) in creating an engaging cross platform experience for fans. One of the fundamental strategies we employ to create genuine fan engagement is to provide fans with Access, Exclusivity and opportunity for Impact.

Access. In this case, the audience was able to access an additional performance directly on the 1st screen without having to take ANY action whatsoever (well except perhaps for unmuting their TV or not fast forwarding what one might expect to be a commercial). You don’t need elaborate stunts to “surprise and delight” if you simply give people what they want, when they aren’t expecting it, and don’t require anything of them.

Exclusivity. Well thank you Target for that delightfully surprising extra performance, now what do we owe you? Wait, nothing?! And instead you’re offering us MORE content…exclusive content? Of course “exclusive tracks” are nothing new, but it’s the manner in which Target is telling the story of what they are offering fans.

And finally, opportunity for Impact. Ok, if we’re completely honest here, they sort of hit this one, but could have done a lot more. The key is to give fans an opportunity to impact the outcome of the story Target is weaving. Impact can come in the form of fans directly contributing to the content of the performance, or follow-on performance related content. It could be giving fans the opportunity to vote on an outcome — whether that’s what song was played — or would be played in a post show performance — or simply which BTS content would be available post show. Any which way you cut it, we’re talking about the #CreatedWith strategy. Target did hit on this through the use of influencers, but it would have been great to give all fans the opportunity to impact the story.

Additionally, it’s really become standard practice for influencers to be hired for awareness campaigns — and in this case there did not appear (though perhaps we missed a post) any unique content developed (we don’t consider selfies unique). And yes, there was a flock to unlock. Everything old is new again, we guess. It does make sense in the context of what Target was trying to achieve here but as of print, the flock is far from unlocking anything.

Again, way to #BeBRAVE Target and remind an an entire industry that a commercial break doesn’t need to be used for an interruptive commercial. This was a great execution with even more upside around giving fans an opportunity to create impact (we’ve got our eye on you). There were several other strong performances by brands which we’ll feature in follow-up posts. In the meantime and in the spirit of the #CreatedWith economy, tell us what you think (as long as it doesn’t involve Kanye).


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