The Mysterious Vanishing Target Ads

Regular followers of this blog may recall my posting of December 22, 2009, “Santa’s Mixed Bag of Holiday Commercials.” Leading the post were my less-than-approving critiques of two Target ads: “From Santa” and “There Yet,” accompanied by the spots themselves, embedded from YouTube.

My take on the ads was that they backfired on the brand by showing people reacting to their gifts from Target with anxiety and discomfort instead of joy. The agency that created the campaign – Wieden+Kennedy, Portland – started with a promising-enough premise: that Target’s “cheap chic” merchandise is of such high style and quality that people assume it costs much more than it actually does. But the execution of that concept played out in uncomfortable, squirm-inducing scenarios depicting a spousal argument and perhaps the end of a fairly new relationship.

So why take my word for it? You could just go back to my post and watch them yourself. That is, you could, had both videos not been removed by “the user.” A little searching revealed two things:

1.    Target’s Holiday 2009 ad campaign was soundly dissed by many others in the advertising industry on many other blogs.
2.    All of those embedded YouTube videos went missing, too. However, both commercials featured have been posted by other parties, and can still be seen here:  (Ads of the World)

I’m not saying that Wieden+Kennedy and / or Target have such a thin skin that they can’t take criticism. It’s just odd that these two videos in particular were pulled from Web sites and blogs that reviewed the spots unfavorably, while allowed to remain on those that mentioned them in a positive or neutral manner.

I’m just putting it out there.