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Target Animation Studio at D23Expo

Learn about how we brought this idea to life

About the project

Disney came to Target with an opportunity to sponsor their popular fan convention, D23EXPO – The ultimate fan event returning to Anaheim in August 2015. Target wanted to provide guests an exclusive experience, outside of typical sponsorship activations, that would truly enhance the brand. How could Target become a part of the cultural conversation happening at D23EXPO and stand out in a sea of characters?

Manifold imagined and produced an experience that both celebrated the history of animation (a topic near and dear to Disney fans’ hearts), and also allowed guests to participate in and create their own commemorative D23EXPO gift. An interactive experience that truly stood out on the show floor.

The idea centered around the zoetrope, one of several pre-film animation devices that Walt Disney himself spoke about in his TV Special “The Story of the Animated Drawing.” In fact, we created the booth to look like a giant zoetrope for guests to enter.

Inside Target Animation Studio, (one of the few interactive experiences on the show floor), guests learned about the history of animation and the zoetrope, viewed zoetrope animations of their favorite Target and Disney characters Bullseye and Mickey, and finally – created and experienced their very own zoetrope animation live.

Services Provided

  • Campaign Management
  • Creative Direction
  • Social Media

As the host of the experience, we knew we had to bring Target’s icon, Bullseye to life in a special way. We commissioned custom illustrations from Josh Ellingson, popular San Francisco illustrator and former editor of Laughing Squid, to do just that. Bullseye appeared throughout the booth giving guests a preview of what they were about to create, and provided tips and tricks along the way.

We worked with Ellingson and Disney to create twelve-frame custom zoetrope animation strips that were used in large-scale zoetropes stationed throughout the line. Brand Ambassadors prompted guests to give the zoetropes a spin to reveal the Bullseye and Mickey animations, giving them a preview of what they were about to experience and create.

The main event. Brand Ambassadors were stationed at each of our three animation stages where guests got to pose and and capture their very own animation. Never a lack of smiles and laughter in the arena, guests and BA’s spun, jumped and danced their way through.

After exiting the photo arena, guests headed to the pickup counter where they collected a printed animation strip that was inserted into one of six zoetropes in our viewing lounge. With just a quick spin, guests saw their animations come to life on the same device used in the earliest forms of animation.

Just as you see your image after exiting a ride at Disneyland, guests became stars themselves with their animations playing on one of our six monitors in the Viewing Lounge. Passersby we able to get a sneak peak of what was happening inside as well.

Lastly, guests walked away with a magnetic picture frame, customized to fit their printed animation strip so that their Target Animation Studio experience could live on forever. Guests could also download their digital animation via a personal redemption page to share with their social networks.

  • That was so much fun, I never knew about the zoetrope. I love Target!

    D23 Expo Attendee
  • Is that a mini zoetrope? That is so cool. I’m so glad you guys are keeping this alive!

    Pixar Employee
  • That was totally worth the wait!

    D23 Expo Attendee
  • Something we never would have done, but we just did it!

    D23 Expo Attendee
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