AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerTarget’s Plaid-Out Strategy

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Target’s Plaid-Out Strategy

You’ve seen football teams do black-out nights in their stadiums, but Target took a plaid-out approach for the 2015 holiday shopping season.20151121_100818

Reports of how the plaid push ended have not yet been released, but just looking through the stores, there is very little plaid left, which is a good sign. What I did find were a few Coke bottle leftovers of the more than 50 plaid articles that were developed by acclaimed New York designer Adam Lippes.

This effort gave Target a tremendous visual lift from all other marketers and provided some real differentiation in the store and in their marketing material.

We can all learn from Target how using a visual theme can work to increase our brand’s interest and differentiation to paint a new picture of your messaging.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.