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Target’s all-American family and college roommate ads showed minorites in regular settings..

Target Target pulled at the heart strings of mothers across the country when the store launched its mom, daughter and boyfriend ad in 2010. The ad featured a regular mom who worries about her teenage daughter when she starts dating. In one spot, the mom is shown perched on a tree branch with a pair of binoculars, keeping an eye on her daughter and her date. In another scene, she is shown “accidentally” spilling spaghetti sauce on the boy’s shirt. Two more scenes show mother and daughter bonding and then cat and daughter bonding. The final scenes show Mom in the center of the young couple, putting her arms around them and drawing them closer. Each instance is paired with a product that is sold at Target. Screengrabs from YouTube

The ad is refreshing in that it puts Asian-Americans in a familiar American environment. It skips the stereotypes and shows them for who they are rather than what people think they are. In a 2009 commercial with the same theme of family, the ad showed a montage of family events: Mom taking her son to work, the family dancing to some improvised music, the son sharing his lunch with schoolmates, and a professional photo shoot of the family. This ad, too, captured the all-American family life and reached across race lines. In 2008, Target released its Happy Together spot, which showed two girls, one African-American and the other Caucasian, starting their college life together as roommates. The music starts and the girls begin dancing in a competitive but fun manner while decorating their dorm with products from Target. At the end of the dance, their room is decorated and the tagline appears with a voice-over: “Be Happy Together, Design Together. Save Together.” The spot, set to the reggae beat “Calabria” with vocals by Natasja Saad, was created by W+K Portland.

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Think Before You Type by Nancy Palm  

Think Before You Type by Nancy Palm. 2012 Thesis

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