National discount retailer Target
Stores, a division of Target Corp.,
and America Online,
rolled out the first promotional and co-marketing initiatives resulting from
June’s strategic alliance.
Beginning Tuesday, co-branded CD-ROMs featuring a special edition of the
AOL service will be made available at in-store kiosks at Target stores
nationwide and can be requested at target.com.
Users who subscribe using the CD-ROM receive 500 free hours on the
service and are entitled to a 10 percent discount on merchandise purchased
online at target.com.
The specially branded AOL service offers direct links to target.com, as
well as a customized tool bar and “favorites” folder, both of which include
links to the retailer’s site.
In addition, links to target.com appear in AOL’s [email protected] e-commerce area
and in other locations across the AOL service, including AOL.COM, CompuServe, Netscape Netcenter and AOL Digital City.
The announcement marks the first action thus far in the companies’
multi-year co-marketing alliance, under which the companies agreed to
cross-promote their products and services to consumers.
The agreement is extremely lucrative for both: consumers make
approximately 1 billion visits each year to Target’s 945 stores across the
country. The AOL and CompuServe services combined have more than 24 million
members, and AOL’s Web-based brands have tens of millions of users.
“These are just the first of many exciting co-branding initiatives Target
and AOL will be rolling out through this alliance,” said Jerry Storch,
president of Target Financial Services and New Businesses. “We are
delighted to begin offering AOL products and services to our guests, while
bringing our great selection of merchandise to the millions of users of
“Together, Target and AOL will continue to create compelling new offers
for consumers, as we at Target continue to integrate the Internet into every
aspect of our business,” Storch added.
“Already, we’ve seen a great response to the target.com promotions across
[email protected], and by offering AOL software in Target stores, we can introduce
millions of Target’s loyal guests to all the benefits that AOL and the
Internet have to offer,” said AOL Interactive Services President Barry
“These new online and offline promotions are focused squarely on creating
more value for our customers, and we will continue to leverage the potential
of our powerful brands to make the online experience more fun, innovative
and convenient for our consumers,” he added.
The Target/AOL alliance is also being promoted extensively through a wide
variety of marketing channels. These include visibility in all Target
marketing channels, including the company’s Sunday circular, broadcast and
print advertising and other marketing programs.