Target’s Instagram Back-to-School Campaign

To stand out in the flurry of media surrounding back-to-school, a Target art director, Heather Bahr, conceived the clever idea of sketching around actual school supplies. smARTer set up shop in a photo studio for 2.5 days with Heather and photographer Sean Meszaros, collectively shouting out ideas while drawing penciled characters on wide-lined notebook.

Since the intended social channel, Instagram, frowns on blatant commercialism, the sketches had to be clever and provide intellectual value. Having worked together before on previous projects, smARTer and Target knew how to play off one another’s ideas and explore creatively (and rapidly) to produce a greater result. No erasing!

Word got around; employees paraded through the photo studio to watch the creatives work. The ROI was super positive. Not only was the direct-to-consumer ad campaign successful, posted images secured the most “likes” previously recorded for Target’s Instagram channel. Follow-up ideas included animated versions and an Avenger action-figure comic book.

Credits: Travis Robertson (CD), Jon Baugh (ACD), Heather Bahr (AD), Erin Repesh (AP), Jesse Gadola (copywriter), Liz Matassa (producer), Cate Abbott (AE), Sherwin Schwartzrock (illustrator), and Sean Meszaros (Photographer)

“Favorite moments observed in the studio were the spontaneous ideas flowing from the simple act of placing the school supplies down on that lined paper, one idea fueling the next.” Jon Baugh, Target Associate Creative Director


807 Broadway St. NE, #140
Minneapolis, MN 55413