Target's Target on Aesthetics

Aesthetics. Minimalism. Exposure.


From foodies toggling with exposure and saturation on VSCO and other photo-editing platforms, to Instagram profiles filled with OOTD’s, our generation is obsessed with aesthetics. The evolution of Instagram and other photo-sharing platforms has made “aesthetics” an important feature of capturing our generation’s attention. According to research provider eMarketer, Instagram is a platform “used by 48.8%of brands,” and its expected usage will “rise to 70.7% by 2017.” Furthermore, “60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter.” These statistics reveal a high correlation between understanding consumer trends, and how applying these features can help a business grow.


One particular firm that has targeted these current trends is Target itself. By including images of women in trendy heels, knit sweaters, doughnuts, and hedgehogs, Target has emulated these “glam vibes” in its newest advertisement, “Vibes.”


It’s all about the details.


Target identified the internet’s obsession with cute dogs, cat, and porcupine memes. The typical foodie’s fierce love for doughnuts and pastries. And of course, the aspiring Insta model’s obsession with clean yet colorful layouts. By focusing on these visual metrics, Target positions itself as a haven for quality, affordability, and aesthetics.


A simple but reflective statement was released along with the video.

“Target has a variety of styles to outfit your werk vibes, chill vibes and everything in between.”


By identifying the jargon of our generation, Target is able to better communicate with its audience and establishes a form of validity; that shopping at Target can indeed be trendy.


Another differentiation point Target uses in its advertisement is focusing on the overall customer experience. This singles out to the use of a wide range of footage, gender and racial inclusiveness, and establishing an overall “vibe” instead of focusing on a single product or service. By including men and women of color and children alike, it expands its target audience and makes everybody feel the appeal of the presentation. The overall message is that the Target experience can make each and every customer feel special, whether you’re looking for “Glam Vibes. Fly Vibes. Chill Vibes.”


“Vibes” accurately captures the general view consumers have of Target; a high-end version of Walmart. Through customer-centered ad development, Target plays on its differentiation points by focusing on the overall customer experience. From packaging to the actual design and maintenance of the retail store, they are able to impress their customers by their cheap yet chic designs.


The end of the advertisement, a catchphrase flashes on the screen: “Expect more, pay less.” Target’s advertisements serve as a truly customer-centered marketing strategy. Thanks to Target, anybody and everybody can live a glam lifestyle.

-Danna Xue 

Stanford Marketing Group