Target called upon our creative strategy and activation expertise looking for a better way to engage collegiate millennials during football season. Their goal was to position the Target brand as a top-of-mind one-stop shop among all college students. We knew the idea had to be simple and authentic in order to appeal. And as a bottom line, the experience had to be memorable. With that, Target Tailgate was born.


Fans tailgate for a good time and camaraderie, so our approach was simple—enhance their game day ritual. With the top five football tailgate colleges in the country on our map, we set out to deliver an unexpected tailgate experience full of food and yard games. Without warning, brand ambassadors would hit up tailgate operations, identify a need, then supply it with a suite of Target brand products such as dip for tailgater’s chips, ketchup for their grill, a bean bag toss for their friends and so much more.


Using custom three-wheel bikes filled to the brim with food and games, our Target team divided and conquered each tour stop. But in order to effectively up-level any millennial’s tailgate, we knew we had to do more than remedy their forgotten goods—we had to leave lasting impressions.

Through each tour stop, we’d distribute several GoPro cameras and JBL speaker systems to lucky tailgaters, instantly elevating their game day celebration. Along with custom brand materials and Target apparel, we left an impression that went beyond each activation site. Students took to digital, voicing their thanks and praise. The final score? 70,000+ Facebook impressions, 475 Cartwheel accounts verified and #TargetTailgate callouts on every social platform.


Giving away food, games and prizes is simple. Fostering meaningful engagement and providing an authentic experience throughout five different college communities around the country is where the challenge proved exciting. Our producers, project managers and creative team’s work sparked over 16,000 fan interactions. And with over 6,000 tailgate-enhancing Target products given away, we left each game day ritual happier than we found it.