Cannes Lions

Target Open House


Case Film
Supporting Images
Supporting Images






Our research showed technology brands in particular suffer from a focus on features instead of stories that demonstrate solutions to recognizable problems. It’s not the technology shoppers care about; it’s the benefits. One study showed 72% of consumers find IoT “a confusing concept.”

We needed an environment where shoppers could project their own lives onto the products.

At the same time, we wanted shoppers to feel in control, and not like the machines were taking over.

Also, most retail environments are ruthlessly measured by sales-per-square-foot. To flip that model and focus on engaging and educating rather than selling, we measured success by insights- and relationships-per-square-foot, as well as by how many IoT products were introduced chain-wide.

We designed Open House, a 3,600-square-foot space featuring a five-room home built entirely from transparent acrylic. Each wall was designed as a projection surface, transforming the entire house into an immersive, interactive theatre.


Motion tracking recognizes visitors as they enter a room, and each product introduces itself in a friendly first-person voice. Then, shoppers take control, choosing from stories that demonstrate how connected products solve relatable challenges.

With scenarios ranging from restless babies to kitchen fires, these stories weren’t pre-recorded video: they were generated with live code and an API call to the products, which come to life as the story unfolds. Augmented by sound design elements like a baby’s cries or a window breaking, the experience reinforces the human emotion of each story.

Unlike temporary brand experiences, the system uses a modular CMS, so Target can swap products out and write new stories as needed.

After visiting the home and experiencing the big idea of IoT, visitors proceed to interactive tables for a hands-on experience with the individual products. From here, they can purchase products, completing the funnel from education to conversion.


Open House debuted to immediate fanfare and became a must-stop for shoppers visiting downtown San Francisco.

More importantly, Target now has a funnel for going to market with IoT products based on data from real shoppers. Open House is the insight center Target uses as it introduces IoT into its 1,800 stores.

Target will test over 100 connected devices in its first year. Of these, three have been confirmed as viable and are now available chain-wide: Tile, Petnet, and the Hello sleep sensor.

Finally, Target leapt over its competition by forging exclusive relationships with scores of startup founders and hosting dozens of events engaging the public in essential conversations about security, reliability and the influence of connected devices. Target relocated a suite of veterans from headquarters in Minneapolis to maximize these opportunities.

Thanks to Open House, Target has a competitive advantage in the largest market opportunity in a generation.

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