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Target redeems itself after unoptimized ad campaign

March 2, 2012

Target recently ran a mobile advertising campaign that was not executed properly nor optimized for mobile devices. However, since then the retail giant has redeemed itself by mobilizing the campaign and showing that it is never too late to get back on track.

The company ran audio, mobile banner and full-page ads that offered coupons to its in-store groceries within Pandora’s iPhone application. On Feb. 28, Mobile Commerce Daily reported that Target missed the mark on its mobile ad campaign, but the company has since gotten back on track and continues to prove that mobile plays a big role in its overall strategy.

“Target’s highest priority is assuring that our guests have a great, uniquely Target experience – whether they are in our stores, on our Web site or using one of our mobile applications,” said Eddie Baeb, a spokesman for Target, Minneapolis, MN.

“We have been a leader in multichannel retailing for years, and we are committed to continuous innovation and delivering on our brand promise ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ to our guests anytime, anywhere,” he said.

Second chance
The original Target campaign featured audio, mobile banner and full-page ads, that when tapped on would redirect consumers to the company’s Web site instead of a mobile-optimized page.

Users had to pinch and zoom in order to read the text and they were also encouraged to print coupons, however were unable to from their mobile devices.


The original unoptimized landing page

The new mobile ad campaign also includes audio, mobile banner and full-page ads, which are now executed better and create a more enjoyable experience for users.

For example, when consumers tap on the new mobile ads, they are now redirected to a mobile-optimized page where no pinching or zooming is necessary.

The mobile campaign is now optimized

Additionally, not only are users encouraged to tap on the top of the page to download Target’s iPhone application, but the retailer also lets them get the coupons offered sent directly to their mobile device – no printing required.

This change not only shows that Target has clearly redeemed itself, but it also proves that the retailer saw that the user experience could have been better and went back to the drawing board.

On target
Target is also very smart to correct the issue.

Many companies including Boar’s Head, Chrysler and Unilever have run mobile ad campaigns and have missed the mark by not optimizing the experience for mobile.

In 2010, Chrysler’s mobile banner in the New York Times iPhone app illustrated the importance of having a mobile-optimized landing page. Chrysler’s landing page was not mobile-optimized.

The banner took a user to the company’s Web site, which was not optimized for a handset, thus completely ruining the user experience and making the ad useless (see story).

Last year, Unilever’s I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter mobile banner ad, which ran in’s iPhone application, promoted the company’s butter products.

Instead of taking consumers to a mobile-optimized site, the banner ad took them to the company’s Web site, which changes the overall purpose of the ad
(see story).

Unlike Target, the companies have not fixed their campaigns and did not aim to make the user experience better.

“Any retailer that is engaged in mobile marketing should land consumer click-throughs on a mobile-optimized page, for the best possible conversion rates,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

“Retailers should remember that mobile marketing does not just mean mobile banner ads,” he said. “In fact, many brands and retailers are engaged in mobile marketing without knowing it, since Facebook posts, tweets, emails and other forms of consumer outreach that are accessed on mobile devices are, for all intents and purposes, mobile marketing campaigns.

“A tap on a hyperlink by a consumer using a web-connected smartphone that does not redirect to a mobile version of the retailers site is a wasted tap that will discourage future site visits.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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One Response to “Target redeems itself after unoptimized ad campaign”

  1. Tom Says:

    Which agency did Target use for this campaign?

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