ALEXANDER McQUEEN FOR TARGET
Fashionistas of the world were dropping to their knees, drooling at the prospect of an affordable Alexander McQueen clothing line for a very long time. Finally, at select Target stores and online, they, and everyone else, is able to purchase genuine, ‘ready-to-wear’, authentic McQ gear at ‘street-lite’ prices, if only for a limited time.
Commissioned by Peterson Milla Hooks, Minneapolis, Richard Smith, EMS Inc, and strategy consultant Mark Jacobs created the concepts for the launch campaign for McQueen’s new Target line, which was unveiled in March.
Says Smith, ‘McQueen is a genius, there is no doubt, and to be able to work on this campaign was a delightful challenge. The McQ brand and Target, at first glance, are not an obvious mix – one is quite complex and dark, and the other is much, much sweeter. For McQ, Alexander McQueen also draws on numerous pop-cultural references and influences that cut against the commercial mainstream – to get the balance right and retain each brand’s integrity was imperative.
The final solution somehow came together naturally, the Blythe dolls conveyed elements of irony and the ‘unexpected’ – both a big part of the McQ brand personality – as well as offering a level of sweetness that worked well for Target. Blythe dolls also have a strong cult following and are very much part of the underground, this also spoke very clearly to the McQ brand heritage which has been built on many ideas stemming from different ‘anti-establishment’ social groups from the 50s, 60s 70s and 80s.’
PMH rolled out the final campaign, which included a ‘McQ Market’ pop-up store in New York, billboards, national press ads, TV & online media, and each featured various Blythe dolls wearing miniature versions of the new McQ line.
Smith explains, ‘we started working on the campaign last summer, I was in fact just about to go away on vacation but knew this was a project that couldn’t be turned down, for whatever reason. As part of the process we looked at many different ideas, and somehow fate brought us to Blythe – I was sitting in the middle of the English countryside, late one night, and stumbled upon these Tim Burton-esque images on Flickr by Gina Garan (This is Blythe) of these eccentric dolls with big eyes and big heads. There was something about their human-like ‘personalities’ that resonated, at the time I didn’t really know why, but they seemed right, I think it was the satire that appealed to me. When we presented the concepts it made sense to everyone else too, it was at this point we realized it was the way to go – and McQueen loved them too – that was when we knew we were in.’