Target Shills from Tent and Townhouse

August 14, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Target Townhouse product showcase 452 Greenwich Street Tuesday, 08.07.01, 6 PM to 9 PM
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You won't find a Target store in Manhattan (blame real estate prices), but the hip retailer goes out of its way to use creative events to promote itself here. Because New York's many influential media and fashion heavies live so far from an actual Target store (unless you head to Queens), the chain knows that it needs to do lots of great promotions to keep up its PR and cache.

For its latest offbeat promotion, Target took over a 6,000-square-foot townhouse (nice digs if you can get 'em) at the corner of Greenwich and Desbrosses streets, and filled it with products found in the chain's stores--furniture, clothes, bath products, magazines. The fully furnished, perfect-looking house felt like some super-cute, camera-ready family had just left. (Target will donate the contents and a grant to the Coalition for the Homeless, and the house goes back on the market.)

The house hosted a series of events for a week, including a kickoff party set up primarily for press. Designer Michael Graves, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli (who launched his Target line in November), and makeup artist Sonia Kashuk were all there to talk about their individual lines sold at Target, and Diane Sawyer and Marlo Thomas also made appearances.

When guests weren't touring the house, a tent from Stamford Tent and Party Rental with white and clear panels (and the Target logo on the outside--they're all about branding) hosted a reception and created a well air-conditioned respite from the muggy August heat. Event producers Rand.m Productions created a very fun look for the tent, consistent with the scene the company set up for Target's Art in the Park opening reception this past May. (The event used much of the same creative team: Rand, Stamford and floral designer Marc-Antoine Floral Studio.) To match the white tent, Rand.m put white Target items--marshmallows, bars of soap, lightbulbs--inside the same clear Plexiglas tables (designed by Rand and made by Industrial Plastic Supply Corporation) that housed brightly colored items at the park party.

Creative Edge Parties also put together a creative, brand-driven assortment of food, well-matched to the store's campy, kitschy ad campaigns. Cold sesame noodles with chopped peanuts were served in Chinese takeout boxes with the Target bull's-eye; mozzarella and tomato hors d'oeuvres were cut to create tiny red and white bull's-eyes; and dessert were devil's food cupcakes frosted with the familiar logo (Another take on logoed cupcakes: Elite's recent spread). A plate of dried fruit was also arranged in a bull's-eye pattern in the house--a great idea Target has used before, putting its logo in candy at the Mossimo event. Absolut also made special lemonade “Targetinis” (it's always something-tini, isn't it?) in blueberry, strawberry and blood orange flavors.

On the way out, guests received gift bags filled with logoed slippers and toothbrushes handed out from the trunk of a taxi that advertised the Target-sponsored art exhibit in Madison Square Park, which features a taxi-themed exhibit. These bags were third in a line of fun Target gifts we've seen following the custom-made Target Twister games and cool messenger-style gift bags.

--Chad Kaydo

See pictures of the food at this event...

Read about Target's Art in the Park opening reception...

Read about Target and High 5 Teen Tickets to the Arts program launch party...

Read about Target's Mossimo launch party...

Read about Target's Pop Art fashion show...

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