Most people would immediately recognize “Bullseye” from her fame as a representative of Target. With a white body, pointy ears, and the red Target emblem painted on her left eye, it would be difficult not to know her.
Bullseye often shows up at store openings, on the red carpet, and the Target TV commercials. As a playful, curious, quirky pup, she stole the hearts of viewers and drew attention to the Target brand.
Target’s Bullseye is a male character played by females
Target has been using a white bull terrier as their “Bullseye” mascot since 1999. And no, they didnt find a dog that miraculously happened to have red markings on his face. Instead, they use safe vegetable-based paint to color in that bullseye. The pooch is featured on the stores gift cards and Target has made several hundred Bullseye plush toy styles. One of the toys even made it to The Smithsonians National Museum of American History.
In 2015, The New York Times wrote that Target picking a bull terrier as a mascot is “also a brave choice and a rare turn in the spotlight for a breed originally bred in Britain for dogfighting, a dog with the reputation of a canine gladiator that would fight to the death to please a master.” But Bullseye is a friendly dog who loves to walk the red carpet and wear cool costumes, including a fire suit for auto races, and a Minnesota Twins jersey. He barks it up with celebs and even gets to travel first-class in airplanes in his own seat.
Make that her own seat. Bullseye has been portrayed by females.
Bullseye’s History With Target Dog Breed
Bullseye’s debut as a Target icon was in 1999. She was part of an advertising campaign called “Sign of the Times,” set to the reworked 1960s version of the pop tune by Petula Clark.
Not so astonishingly with a pup like Bullseye as the lead, their campaign became a big hit. Both guests and team members who identified with Target wanted to see more of Bullseye and practically demanded it.
Target responded to this by having its marketing team incorporate Bullseye into almost all of their marketing campaigns. She was in magazines and newspapers, online pop-ups, and then direct marketing later in the year. She even found her way onto the gift card designs for that autumn.
Target capitalized on the beloved dog’s popularity with a line of plush toys in 1999. They were 15 inches tall and sold in all their locations. In 2001, it became a 7-inch toy and a line of outfits and style based on the dog.
Her next big break was in 2003 when she was featured in another significant ad campaign called “See. Spot. Save.” It was their campaign that gained her the most fame and has cemented her as an icon of American pop culture.
So, what breed is Bullseye? She is a Bull Terrier, and no, she wasn’t born with the logo.
The coloring process is remarkable, starting with the colorist, Rose. She has created a dog-safe and Humane Society-approved vegetable dog makeup in shades of red and white.
Since Bull Terriers rarely come in a pure white color, Rose must paint any yellow or tan patches with white coloring to give the pup the contrast she needs.
The Bull Terrier patiently waits each time Rose needs to put on the makeup. Training does go into their process, though, since Rose has to try to craft a perfect circle around the dog’s left eye. Any squinting or squirming could end up poorly.
The real trick is to get it to appear as a perfect circle. It is difficult because it is on the bumpy surface around the eye and the dog’s forehead.
Target’s Canadian debut was a flop
As much as Americans love Target, Canadians werent feeling it. Target spent $7 billion and two years there, only to see it completely fail. CEO Brian Cornell said, “In my time here at Target, Ive developed a better understanding of just how deeply our entry disappointed Canadian shoppers,” who were reportedly initially excited about the stores, thanks to visiting them in the U.S.
Part of the problem was that Target took over the leases of Zellers, a defunct chain, instead of building the stores from the ground up. Fortune pointed out that “most Zellers stores were dumpy, poorly configured for Targets big-box layout, and were in areas not frequented by the middle class customers Target covets,” saying that “inheriting many awful locations from a dying low-end retailer was at the heart of the damage to Targets cheap-chic allure in Canada.”
In addition, Slate said that because the chain “revved up so quickly, the company never had time to develop a working supply chain in Canada, which left its stores short on merchandise and full of empty shelves.”
Is Bullseye the Target dog still alive?
How do they paint the Target dog?