Justin Timberlake Surprises Target Shoppers

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Justin Timberlake Surprises Target Shoppers

By Cyndi Loza - 02/13/2018

Target teamed with Justin Timberlake to surprise St. Paul, MN, shoppers with an autographed LP of the pop star's new Man of the Woods album.

In town to headline the National Football League's halftime Super Bowl show, Timberlake posted a Feb. 2 video of himself shopping at a Super Target in St. Paul, MN, and stealthily autographing five copies of a Target-exclusive, orange vinyl version of his album. He instructed his fans to go to the store and say code word "aardvark" to the store manager to get an autographed album. Shoppers who went to the store after the five signed albums were dispersed instead received a $5 Target gift card. Timberlake and Target posted the video on their respective Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

Beyond the aforementioned limited-edition record, Target is also carrying an exclusive Man of the Woods CD, boasting exclusive cover art and a bonus poster. Both the vinyl and CD come with a digital download of the full album, which dropped Feb. 2. Endcap headers, in-line headers, floorstands, a Jan. 28 feature in the retailer’s circular and a promotional page within target.com tout the exclusive SKUs. 

“Target’s guests love … Timberlake — in fact, he’s one of our top selling music artists of all time,” said Mark Tritton, Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, in a Jan. 3 post on the retailer's A Bullseye View blog announcing the exclusive SKUs. “We’re already seeing a lot of excitement for [Timberlake’s] upcoming album, and our guests will be thrilled to know they can find a number of exclusives."

Target has teamed with Timberlake in the past, serving as the exclusive retail partner for the release of his The 20/20 Experience album in 2013. The retailer has a long history of partnering with various musicians including John LegendGarth BrooksGwen Stefani and Imagine Dragons.

The efforts are part of the #MoreMusic platform Target has been building for years in an attempt to bolster its cache as a music authority. Just before the Super Bowl, the retailer again activated the platform during the Jan. 28 Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS to run a TV spot delivering a performance from Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, featuring their new track, "The Middle."

"Music is — and always has been — an important part of Target’s DNA. It serves as a powerful way to connect with our guests, and over the years we’ve found ways to bring them more music and access to their favorite artists," said Rick Gomez, Target evp and chief marketing officer, in a Jan. 28 post on A Bullseye View. "I'm excited that the spot will live on after Grammy night as the official music video for the song and as the soundtrack to the Target Style spring campaign, which kicks off Feb. 4."

Last fall, Target also teamed with pop star Taylor Swift. The retailer exclusively carried two magazine and CD bundles encompassing a copy of Swift’s latest album Reputation and 72 pages of her personal poetry and photos, artwork, handwritten lyrics and other content. 

In stores, the SKUs were stocked on account-specific shorties near checkout and on floorstands. A video on Target’s YouTube page (see below), a Nov. 8 feature in the retailer’s circular, an Aug. 24 A Bullseye View post, and Facebook and Twitter updates supported. The effort resulted in Target’s “biggest music pre-sale of all time,” according to the retailer. 

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