Report: New Target ads take aim at broader group of new parents

NEW YORK — Target will kick off a new ad campaign in 2011 that makes a tongue-in-cheek, if not frank and honest, appeal to new parents, according to a report by AdAge.

“I just had a 20-minute conversation with a stranger about nipples,” reads one of the print ads, which the article noted are “meant to illustrate the chaos, humor and absurdness that are hallmarks of parenting.”

"Before, we took a point of view that focused more on idealism, frankly," Target's VP marketing Will Setliff told AdAge. "The original creative was appealing and showed really beautiful moments that people can relate to. And there can be moments like that. But it's not, I think, what makes up the bulk of parenthood."

The ads also are meant to make a more universal appeal to a broader group of parents at a time when “most marketers are still filling advertisements with young American mothers sporting wedding bands, even though plenty of today’s moms were born and raised outside of the United States, are in nontraditional marital situations and are in [their] 30s or 40s,” AdAge reported.

In somewhat related news, Target announced Wednesday that it will use electronic billboards in New York’s Times Square and at Los Angeles’ Hollywood and Highland Center to share birth announcements submitted via Facebook from new parents.

As part of the program, which Target is calling its “Big Baby Billboard,” parents can visit Facebook.com/TargetBaby to create their own free, digital birth announcement, which features the child's name, birth date and weight presented in a type style that is reminiscent of colorful children's refrigerator magnets. The announcements can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, and parents can submit their announcements to be featured on either the New York or Los Angeles message boards.

"Technology plays an important role in how Target's guests share and receive information and our Target Baby Facebook page serves as an excellent resource for new and expectant parents," Setliff said. "We're excited to tap into our guests' online behaviors to provide them with a fun, relevant way to celebrate the birth of their child — whether that's with friends and family, on an oversized magnetic billboard in Los Angeles or in the heart of our nation's biggest city."

The promotion will run from News Years Eve through Jan. 6, 2011; in Los Angeles, it will run during mall hours from Jan. 1 to Jan. 5, 2011.