How Target said it best when it said nothing at all

Jan. 3, 2012 | by James Bickers

My apologies to Paul Overstreet and Alison Krauss for the title of this post, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I stumbled upon this blog post from the site Noah's Dad, which caters to parents of kids with Down syndrome. This week, Target featured the following photo in its Sunday newspaper ad. Notice anything interesting about it?

Target ad

You probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't told you that bit of background on the Noah's Dad blog, because the retailer did such a great job at something that companies (and individuals) often struggle with: treating and respecting people equally.

Why does Noah's Dad think this is worthy of such praise?

This wasn't a "Special Clothing For Special People" catalog. There wasn't a call out somewhere on the page proudly proclaiming that "Target's proud to feature a model with Down syndrome in this week's ad!" And they didn't even ask him to model a shirt with the phrase, "We Aren't All Angels" printed on the front.

Target has taken its share of lumps in the past few years, chiefly for some of its political donations and the messages they have sent. But in the blog post, Noah's Dad calls out five different – very positive – things that Target did with this ad, like the implicit message that "it's time for organizations to be intentional about seeking creative ways to help promote inclusion, not exclusion."

What are your thoughts on this?

Topics: Marketing

James Bickers / James Bickers is the senior editor of Retail Customer Experience, and also manages webinars for Networld Media Group. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist and innovative content strategist, with publication credits in national, international and regional publications.
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