If you haven’t seen this week’s issue of The New Yorker, go to the newsstand and check it out. The entire issue features no other advertiser than Target, who commissioned a number of illustrators to incorporate its brand look and feel into ads without copy.
The result feels seamless: you’re not really getting sold anything, and the bullseye becomes quite iconic in the hands of talented folks.
Of course, it helps that Target does all the other things right, from its merchandising mix to its clean stores. But Jonah Bloom, writing in Ad Age, nails it, and I’ve been saying it for years:
The smartest marketers have realized that if their advertising makes a unique statement, either in content or placement, it will spark a media and water-cooler conversation whose value will be tens or even hundreds of times the cost of the media buy.
Which reminds me: I once had a homebuilder client who said, “We want to be like Target.” He really had no clue what he was talking about. He just knew Target was cool.