To hype the launch of its Missoni collection in Minneapolis, Target hauled in from New York a 25-foot doll named Little Marina that apparently likes to blog. (I guess giant blogging dolls are the latest rage in New York fashion circles. Go figure.)
In reality, the retailer could have flown in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and still get the same result: a shopping hysteria normal reserved for Black Fridays that took down Target.com for three hours on Tuesday.
The 400-piece collection is now mostly sold out but you can still get a Media Bin Passione online for $7.99. Whatever that is.
If you weren't able to buy anything, tough luck. Company spokesman Joshua Thomas says the retailer will not be replenishing its shelves with more Missoni products. What was sold is what was sold.
The company has received some inevitable backlash for its website troubles and not stocking enough merchandise to meet demand. Critics, though, miss the point.
Missoni was never about sales though Target is certainly leaving some money on the table. The collection was mostly about marketing, creating buzz and excitement precisely because there was a scarcity of product. There's a reason why it's called a limited edition collection folks.
What Target has accomplished can't be overstated. Given the weak economy, when was the last time you've seen images of people rushing into stores to buy that can't-live-without-item?
Only one other retailer comes to mind. I'll give you a hint: Forest Gump called it a "fruit company."
One problem for Target: now what?
The collection was supposed to be available until October 22. The timing of the collection suggests Target wanted some extra mojo for the holiday shopping season.
But with the collection now gone, what benefit, if any, does Target get from Missoni?
I guess we could ask Little Marina. But perhaps someone already bought her as well.