A new dorm was recently constructed near the UCLA campus, though it isn’t for UCLA students.
The temporary structure is inhabited by five young YouTube personalities—including Magic of Rahat, the prankster magician behind the Drive Thru Invisible Driver Prank video that has been viewed more than 35 million times on YouTube, and nerd culture obsessive Brooke “Dodger” Leigh. They are living like college students in dorm rooms, with their activities livestreamed 24 hours a day, as part of the Bullseye University Digital Experience found at BullseyeUniversity.com.
The digital dorm experience is a key part of a larger back-to-school campaign for Target that includes uStyler, an online dorm room design tool; The Checklist, an app for organizing and personalizing back-to-college shopping lists; live dorm room exhibits at various college campuses; and private, after-hours shopping events for incoming freshman at select colleges. “It’s no secret that college-age guests are very active social and digital media users who consume information through multiple channels, so our campaign reaches students through a variety of ways, be it digital or experiential,” says Rick Gomez, senior vice president of brand and category marketing for Target, who notes, “It’s important for us to build a relationship with them as they embark on a new phase of life.”
Conceived by Target in partnership with agency Deutsch LA, Bullseye University offers a crash course in dorm living. The carefully curated rooms are packed with all kinds of Target merchandise, and visitors who see something they like--whether it’s a compact fridge or a lamp--can simply click on a pin next to the item to buy it. Multiple sweepstakes offers give visitors the chance to win everything from cases of candy bars to laptops.
While Bullseye University is designed to make it easy to buy Target products, the site also provides nonstop, interactive entertainment. The residents, who moved in on July 15 and will remain through July 18, are constantly up to something and connecting with fans via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (#BullseyeU). Tessa Violet, known as Meekakitty on YouTube, and Clothes Encounters vlogger Jenn Im are conducting styling and makeup sessions; producer, actor, and musician Chester See is taking song requests; Dodger is all about geek game night; and Rahat can’t resist being a prankster.
Meanwhile, Target partner brands including C9, Zipcar, Ben & Jerry’s, and Beats by Dre are sponsoring a range of activities in the Bullseye University student lounge. On July 16, Ben & Jerry’s revealed a new ice cream flavor for 2013, and visitors could tweet to dunk one of the roommates in a milkshake dunk tank. Courtesy of MTV, four bands--found through an online casting call--will rock the dorm on the evening of July 18, performing live from the lounge.