TIFF 2012: Target Canada Takes Over Toronto's Templar Hotel In Promotional Blitz

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Pictured: The Templar Hotel in Toronto will become The Hotel Target at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. (Photo: AP; JasonParis via Flickr)
Pictured: The Templar Hotel in Toronto will become The Hotel Target at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. (Photo: AP; JasonParis via Flickr)

Target Canada won’t open its first store north of the border until the spring of next year, but the company has been making itself felt in the country’s retail markets for months now.

In its latest promotional campaign, the Minneapolis-based retailer is taking over a ritzy Toronto boutique hotel -- the Templar Hotel -- and rebranding it, temporarily, as the Hotel Target. The retailer plans to open a Filmmakers’ Lounge, where industry insiders and members of the media can hobnob, reports PR In Canada.

The company will also join the CBC in co-hosting a late-night party on Saturday night, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi from Q, dubbed Q After Dark. The party will be for actors, musicians and “tastemakers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

It’s all part of making the brand a part of Canadian shoppers’ psyche, Target Canada spokesperson Lisa Gibson told Strategy Online.

Obviously TIFF is one of the largest events in the city, and right now our activations are all about bringing the brand to life,” she said. “It is really about educating people about what Target is all about. We are all about doing a variety of things that are going to surprise people, and do something a bit unique.”

Target Canada this week is partnering with Quebec style icon Mitsou Gelinas to bring multimedia content to Montreal Fashion Week, in a campaign designed to give Quebecers an idea of what to expect from Target stores. The fashion industry event runs this week.

Earlier this year, the retailer opened a one-day pop-up store in downtown Toronto featuring clothes from designer Jason Wu. The store’s product line sold out in a matter of hours.

But the company has also been fielding negative publicity surrounding its expansion into Canada, particularly its decision not to keep on the 10,000 employees at the Zellers locations across Canada that are being turned into Target stores.

Most recently, Target’s Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ont., was the site of a union-organized protest meant to challenge the company’s decision to hire all new staff for its new locations.

Target Canada maintains it’s not laying anyone off because Zellers employees aren’t Target employees.

There will be no transfer of any Zellers assets, systems, technology, goodwill or employees to Target,” Gibson told HuffPost Canada last month.

The company says Zellers employees are welcome to apply for jobs at Target.

Related on HuffPost:

Protest At Target Canada Headquarters
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