TORONTO—If you’re a Target employee, who would you rather meet at a company party, Bullseye the Dog or Canadian pop star Michael Buble?
Fortunately, Target employees christening the opening of Target Canada’s headquarters outside of Toronto didn’t have to choose: both showed up. Next year, Target will open the first of its 180 or so stores throughout Canada, the first time the Minneapolis-based retailer has expanded beyond the United States.
I must admit, I was more excited to see Bullseye, which would mark a sort of high point in my journalism career. Since his/her debut 13 years ago, the English bull terrier has become the retailer's ubiquitous spokesman, appearing in television commercials and print ads and at Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York.
As a former St. Louis-based reporter covering Ralston Purina, I never got a chance to meet Morris the Cat, a failure that has haunted me to this day.
I sat next to Bullseye for a quick photo and yes, she is as cute as the legions of stuffed animals in her likeness that occupy the shelves of the company store.
Unfortunately, Bullseye wasn’t particularly chatty or interactive.
In fact, she barely moved, an impressive feat I can only attribute to a skilled trainer, plentiful dog treats, and years of experience posing for photo-ops with dorks like me.
Michael Buble, though, was a complete different story. With his boyish looks and ballads like "Home" and "Haven't Met You Yet," people naturally assume Buble is a boy scout. Dressed in black jacket, white shirt, and jeans, Buble, however, was a bit loose, dropping a few F-bombs along with a crack about Katy Perry’s anatomy that raised a few eyebrows.
“Do you think he was a bit buzzed?” I asked someone.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “He is an entertainer.”
I suppose it’s a very thin line between entertainment and alcohol.
I had assumed corporations like Target pay big bucks to land Buble. But Buble said he was happy to do the 30 minute gig, in part because he, more than anything, valued family, whether for personal or business reasons.
“If it weren’t for you,” Buble told the crowd, “I would still be selling my records at Starbucks.”
Better to sell than pour I always say.