Why Target’s new catalogue is being showered with praise on Facebook

Article by Broede Carmody /
Smart Company /
December 02, 2012 /
Click here to view original /

Target Australia is being showered with praise over its latest catalogue which features women of all different sizes and ages modelling the retailer’s new range of swimwear.

Customers have flocked to Target’s Facebook page to praise the retailer for showcasing “all body types” in its advertising.

“Imagine my delight upon opening the Target catalogue and seeing all body types displayed on the swimwear page,” one woman wrote.

“Well done Target!”

The post has been liked more than 26,000 times and been shared by more than 800 people.

More than 45 people have posted to Target’s Facebook page to say how much they appreciate the photos in the catalogue.

“Just got my target brochure,” another customer wrote on Target’s Facebook page.

“Super impressed by the models you have used for your catalogue. I have two daughters and it is so nice to see positive images. Kudos to you.”

This is not the first time the Target brand has received praise for being on the front foot when it comes to social issues.

The US arm of the retail giant announced earlier this year it was removing gendered signage from its stores in a bid to be more inclusive and not reinforce gender stereotypes.

Why it’s important for businesses to be “relatable”

Melbourne University lecturer Dr Lauren Rosewarne told SmartCompany it is always positive to see a big, well-known company like Target reflect its customer base.

The latest catalogue helps audiences to “expand their ideas of what constitutes a body worth seeing” in advertising, according to Rosewarne.

“Target, like all brands – but particularly those with a diverse consumer base – needs to be relatable and needs to speak to its audience in the broadest sense,” Rosewarne says.

“One way to do this is by using models that truly reflect what their customer base actually looks like.”

“In a culture that is both highly sensitive to body shaming and also highly laudatory of good news stories in regards to body image, through a campaign like this Target can benefit from positive – if not viral – coverage because their campaign stands out from the crowd.”

Expect further campaigns like this from Target in the future

A spokesperson for Target Australia told SmartCompany the retailer is “thrilled” with the response from customers regarding the models in its latest catalogue.

“We are continuously committed to promoting diversity and celebrating all women,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“In August this year we launched the Every Body campaign with the introduction of size 16 mannequins in store and women of all shapes and sizes across our TV, digital and print campaigns. Both initiatives are small but vital steps in continuing Target’s promise to make quality style and fashion not only more affordable, but also more accessible and relevant for women.”