Marketing for Thought

Social celebrities take center stage in Target and H&R Block campaigns

Target and H&R Block are redefining the meaning of celebrity collaborations. Each of the brands have partnered with top Pinterest users and YouTube sensations in their most recent product developments and  marketing campaigns, capitalizing off of the popularity of social media and its ability to identify and interact with consumers.


Target is no stranger to product collaborations. From Missoni to Philip Lim, Target has partnered with several famous fashion designers to produce product lines that reflect the designer’s aesthetic and taste but sold at a more modest price.  Each of these collaborations were extremely successful, leading to Target’s website crashing and merchandise is certain locations being sold out within an hour. Then again, who wouldn’t love designer clothes, shoes and home goods at a good price?

This time, Target’s recent collaboration isn’t with a famous European designer, but design bloggers and Pinterests users with followings between 2 million and 13 million.

The chosen designers,  Joy Cho of Oh JoyJan Halverson of Poppytalk and Kate Arends of Wit + Delight have teamed up with Target to produce party goods. Target’s idea to work with well-known deisgn bloggers and Pinterest users is a stroke of genius. By teaming up with users with large followings, Target is aligning itself with an aesthetic that millions of women already love. 

H&R Block 

Who says taxes and music don’t go together? H&R Block is challenging the boring stigma of doing your taxes and marketing the celebratory feeling of getting a tax refund. With the help of agency 360i, H&R Block created a record label called Billion Back Records that uses 10 YouTube sensations including Pomplamoose and iJustine as brand ambassadors. Through original songs lyrics and social media, this tax preparation company hopes to attract young adults through the excitement of tax returns.

Through utilizing social media and partnerships with YouTube stars, H&R Block is positioning itself with a younger audience and becoming a more relatable brand. No one enjoys doing their taxes, especially young adults, but by focusing their marketing on the end result of tax returns, they are reminding them of the joy and satisfaction post process.

Why Social Celebs

Everyone loves a good star-studded performance. The public eats up movies like Valentines Day and He’s Just Not Int You because they feature 10+ highly recognizable actors. They love feeling like they can relate to celebrities and socialites because they use the same products or react to situations in a similar manner. But the public also loves when a product or service identifies with them personally, especially when they see average people like them collaborating with Target or making original music for H&R Block. It’s something that is familiar to us because we have seen them or heard of them through social media, but also because we’ve had the ability to interact with them.

As social media gains more traction, companies won’t have a choice but to incorporate its channels and its own celebrities into their marketing mix. Those who don’t choose to identify with their consumers or engage them online will not exist in years to come.