Target: Giant water sprinkler

When it comes to developing engaging outdoor marketing stunts, playing with the notion of scale is often a simple and effective head turner. Proving that sometimes size really does matter.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of this over the years; from McDonald’s straw and cup lid beach umbrellas to Schweppes' geyser mounted bottles and oversized festival showers.

To re-jig a familiar saying - It may not always be clever, but it is big.

Now it’s the turn of US retail titan Target to tamper with the conventions of scale as part of its 'Make Summer Funner' campaign, as the brand takes some of summer’s essentials and upscales them into something that would fit nicely into the average Brobdingnagian  garden.

A giant sprinkler has been set up in a park in Houston and an oversized plastic turtle sandpit in Chicago, inviting people to rekindle their youth as they run screaming through the water and build sandcastles.

Target will have a number of giveaways on site next to the giant sprinkler, including compressed towels to help kids dry off after being drenched with water and ponchos for parents to stay dry amid the unavoidable chaos. In addition, kids that don’t want a soaking will be provided with chalk to draw on the pavement nearby and coupon books will be handed out to parents.

It’s a fun campaign aimed squarely at parents, turning the relatively sedated park experience into something otherworldly.

Play is a buzzword that is banded around a lot in marketing circles and this activation is a key example of why it is increasingly becoming an important staple in the marketing arsenal. Play is not about being a kid, but about recalling childhood and the freedom and exhilaration that comes alongside those memories. Target's oversized installation is a perfect opener for this form of engagement, literally taking an adult back to when they felt very small, yet braver, bolder and more expressive and open to new ideas.

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