By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
Target is making the holidays a bit brighter with a little bit of digital cheer. The retailer has launched a new game, Bullseye's Playground, in partnership with Google's Art Copy and Code initiative. The project was announced via a press release on December 3, and is already available for access now at the special gaming page on Target's website. Not only will players get to interact with Target and have an enjoyable gaming experience, but Target has pledged to donate $1 dollar to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital each time the game is played; in all Target plans to donate $1 million to the organization.
The game, named for Target's canine mascot, is an all-ages experience that lets shoppers play on their mobile devices whether in or out of the store. Bullseye's Playground features six mini-games themed after winter activities, including sledding, snowball throwing, ice fishing, and more. Joining Bullseye will be a cast of woodland creatures for fun, and Target customers can play the game in-store to unlock new characters and levels. In-store signage will direct customers to find the special codes to unlock the content. Bullseye's Playground is accessible on any device running iOS 8.0 or higher and Android 4.0 or higher at Target.com/Play.
The game is a new venture Target is excited to pursue this holiday season. “Target and Google are creating a new kind of holiday magic with Bullseye’s Playground,” says Alan Wizemann, Target.com and Mobile Vice President of Product. “With this partnership, we’re using cutting-edge mobile technology to elevate the in-store holiday experience to provide Target guests a glimpse into the future of retail – where mobile brings together virtual experiences and physical stores.”
Earlier this year in October, GameStop launched plans for their own digital initiative, using augmented reality to make characters from games “come alive” within the store. Target and GameStop are early adopters of this burgeoning push to let customers interact a retailer for more than product selection and purchase. It's about providing an experience, and using creativity.
“Google’s Art, Copy & Code partnerships explore how creativity and technology can work hand in hand to build brands,” says Ben Malbon, Google’s Director of Creative Partnerships. “For each project, we partner with an iconic brand that pushes the boundaries of digital experiences. Consumers are embracing mobile devices as an essential tool and we wanted to work with Target to show how mobile offers a way to make the in-store experience both fun and memorable.”
Target also offered shoppers at select stores to be among the first to try the Google Project Tango Development Tablets, which feature 3D modeling. The tablets games let the store turn into a “3D winter playground” where guests could play games throwing snowballs or playing an icicle xylophone. The testing occurred at stores located in California, Illinois, Texas, and Minnesota. Visitors to BullseyesPlayground.com offers videos showing off levels of the game, as well as an advertisement on how to play in-store.