Target Decides Mid-October Is The Perfect Time To Start Airing Holiday Ads

Screw Halloween and Thanksgiving; bring on Xmas!

While most major retailers usually wait until Nov. 1 to start clogging the airwaves with a blitz of red and green commercials — and this year, many are waiting until after the election — the folks at Target have apparently just decided to embrace Christmas Creep to its fullest, launching its first holiday-themed ad over the weekend.

Ad Age reports that not only is the Target ad — you can see a video of it below if you want to get into the holiday spirit a couple months early — apparently the first such spot for a major retailer in 2012, it’s also a reversal of the company’s previous attitude toward advertising the holidays too early:

[J]ust two years ago touted its strategy of holding off on holiday ads until the weekend after Thanksgiving. The retailer did air ads for its two-day sale featuring comedian Maria Bamford — aka the Christmas Champ — in the weeks before Thanksgiving, however. And the retailer has followed industry convention in setting up an area dedicated to holiday trim prior to Thanksgiving.

At that time, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer said that Target had researched what customers wanted and that’s why it waited until after Thanksgiving.

“Guests really tire of these messages when they’re started too early in the season, and it doesn’t align with where they are in their lives,” he said at the time. “They look at Thanksgiving as family time … and aren’t yet ready to get into the frenzy that defines the Christmas shopping season.”

But that guy is now working at The Gap, so the new leadership obviously feels differently.

Ad Age found that some folks are not too thrilled with the early commercial:
“I’m absolutely appalled that you are airing Christmas commercials already,” said one Facebook comment. “It’s not even Halloween!!! There is a time and a place for everything, and Christmas in October is not one of them!”

To those unhappy commenters, Target replied, “We’re sorry to hear about your disappointment. We’ve shared your feedback with our Broadcast Media executives for review.”