Selling Out in America

Target stores has always shad a knack for attracting celebrities to appear in their ads. During my brief employ at Target, no less than three commercials were shot at my store with Terri Garr, Shari Lewis and Lambchop, and one with some Spanish musician that I couldn’t name. We also hosted an in-store book signing with Roseanne Arnold when her “My Lives” book was released.

FYI: commercials were always shot at night just after closing and from what I heard, Shari Lewis was not the kindest person in the world. But honestly, you would be very happy if you made a career out of jamming your hand up a lamb’s ass?

Oh, and Tom Arnold: cool; Roseanne: not so much.

Target also seems to license the strange and unusual now and then when it comes to their seasonal/holiday items. I can recall The Dog being in one of their campaigns as well as Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, and last year’s surprising Halloween duo, Edgar and Ellen. Hell, they even licensed–blecch–Anne Geddes before her ridiculous images of babies dressed as fruits, vegetables and plants shot into the stratosphere and allowed her push her overpriced wares at galleries around the world, and Penn & Teller starred in a series of Target employee Guest Service videos.

But nothing could prepare me for this year’s back-to-school and Halloween in-store advertising campaign.

It’s Domo-kun. Yes, Domo-kun, that brown, fuzzy little Japanese character that has a tendency to fart whenever he’s nervous.

While I appreciate Target’s willingness to go forth with such a character, I’m a bit perplexed about the choice. I mean, if you live in the U.S. and know about Domo-kun, chances are somebody either saw a YouTube clip and sent it to you or you visit Fark, where Domo-kun is a bona fide cliché. He’s pretty much a cult figure here until Nickelodeon starts to air the Domo shorts scheduled for sometime in 2008.

Having a son, I’m pretty much exposed to Nickelodeon every day of the year and I have yet to see any Domo shorts as of this post. So just who are they trying to, for the lack of a better term, target with this choice? It all seems kind of strange.

But to sum it all up, it appears as if we have a sellout on our hands.

Oh, Domo-kun. How could you?