Last Sunday, Target employee, Alex, reached Internet stardom. Twitter user @auscalem posted a photo of the employee with the caption, “YOOOOOOOOOOO.” She later claimed it wasn’t here picture, she had only shared it. Regardless of its source, the picture of Alex went viral on Twitter, and eventually all social platforms. Within a day, the Twitter account “Official Alex from Target” reached over 346,000 followers.
The teenage heartthrob then got his own hasthag: #AlexFromTarget. Less than a day, Alex was a viral Internet sensation who had tweets, memes, and vines only about him. Millenials have created their own #AlexFromTarget fandom.
Huffington Post claims, “Alex From Target is the first cool thing to happen to Target in a long time.” Target has been facing trouble since its credit card hacks last year. Target reached out on Twitter tuesday by saying, “We heart Alex, too! #AlexFromTarget.” Target spokesperson, Molly Snyder, wrote, “Imagine our surprise yesterday when one of our Target team members managed to flood the Internet with imaged of red and khaki without even trying.”
Brands can’t plan viral outreach like this. Like most things on the Internet, popular content is decided by the users, not brands. Target has gotten lucky with this fame by association, and they were right to quickly respond. This shows why listening to the conversation surrounding your brand is crucial. Molly Snyder was correct, without even trying Target was bumped to the top of young consumer’s minds. Trends like these are time sensitive, though. This means, the subject will only be relevant for a short amour of time. Target responded quickly, the next day in fact. This allowed them to be part of the conversation, not just a responder to it.
Berman, Jillian. “Alex From Target is the First Cool Thing to Happen To Target In A Long Time.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/03/alex-from-target_n_6095038.html