Mass Meets Class
Upscale advertising can make cheap look chic
Mass-market retailers needn't be stuck with a low-end image. No one has
proven this theory better than Target, the discount chain whose ads declare
"fashion leader" loud and clear. What Target is doing to glamorize
budget merchandise could be a useful model for retailers of all types of
bread-and-butter goods, including basic gold jewelry.
This spring, for instance, the company did a splashy 12-by-24-in., four-page
newspaper insert that looked more like the work of a high-end cosmetics
company than a mass merchandiser. The opening page was pure mood-setter: a
full-page shot of a young woman's face against an ocean background. Her
eyes are closed presumably she's dreaming of all the "clear choices"
(the insert's theme) available at Target. Inside, another fashion-magazine-
like, full-page shot and opposite it, 24 fashion photos of Target products,
framed so they look like slides for a glossy magazine. The highest-priced
garment shown costs a mere $29.99. On the back page is a list of 10 must-have
fashion items for spring inexpensive clothing and accessories glamorized
by their chic surroundings.
In another newspaper ad, the company shows a fork nonchalantly but elegantly
wrapped in a strand of $69.95 "pearls" (the ad copy won't do much
to enhance the retailer's image with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee).
In the company of ads from high-end shoe and apparel stores, the Target
ad looks completely at home.
Even budget products can be promoted with a high-fashion
look, as this summer ad by discount chain Target demonstrates.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.