Meet "Alex from Target"
November 5, 2014 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Alex from Target is very important. His ride to meme-dom was seemingly instantaneous and has mystified us all. Even Alex is confused by his rise to fame. So who just is "Alex from Target?"

He's appeared on Ellen, and has been both speculated and debunked as a marketing ploy by Business Insider.

Actually, Business Insider seems to be extremely fascinated fascinated with Alex.
posted by ourt (73 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
World is so fucked.
posted by ReeMonster at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


Alex from Target has really white teeth.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hope he makes some money off of this and uses that to goto school for whatever.

This is pretty nuts
posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:23 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


The reverse of boyzone is still creepy as fuck.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:25 PM on November 5, 2014 [19 favorites]




Yeah.... this would probably be a number of different shades of "not ok" if a dude had taken a surreptitious photo of a teenage girl at work and posted it with a leering caption.

I'm happy that this kid seems to be enjoying the attention and I hope things work out well for him. But it still seems kind of icky?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [20 favorites]


The revelation that "Alex from Target was a social media application marketing stunt" IS the marketing stunt (probably) is just so fucking 2014 I can't stand it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [27 favorites]


The crazy thing is that I can't even figure out what this is a marketing stunt FOR - the marketing firm that did it, I guess? The mind reels.
posted by lunasol at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have no idea what's going on anymore
posted by naju at 2:32 PM on November 5, 2014 [35 favorites]


Pepsi Blue-but-it-isn't-blue-and-also-it's-not-Pepsi-and-everything-is-a-fractal-within-a-fractal
posted by naju at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


In the book Jennifer Government, the corporations took over and everyone has their surname from the organization they work for.

With Alex Target, looks like we're one step closer.
posted by FJT at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


I have no idea what's going on anymore

The beautiful people move the product. Try to keep up.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:35 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Alex Target needs to get in touch with Jared Subway's agent.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:39 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


(horrible shrieking noises intensify)
posted by boo_radley at 2:40 PM on November 5, 2014 [18 favorites]


it's been outed as a marketing ploy by a firm hired by Target. It worked.
posted by shockingbluamp at 2:41 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


From the Ellen article:

He's 16 years old.
He's worked at Target for about three months.
Since #AlexFromTarget took off, he's gotten several marriage proposals.
He started at 144 Twitter followers and now has nearly 600,000.


Alright, now that really is creepy as fuck. If the genders were reversed someone would be up on charges right now.
posted by Benway at 2:43 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


"it's been outed as a marketing ploy by a firm hired by Target. It worked."

Wait, the link in the FPP says that that's been debunked.
posted by I-baLL at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2014


If the genders were reversed someone would be up on charges right now.

I really doubt that posting a photo of a fully clothed stranger on Twitter is a jail-worthy offense, regardless of which gender does the posting. Can we maybe ratchet down the outrage here?
posted by palomar at 2:47 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I find it incredibly amusing.

Creepy as fuck, but amusing nonetheless.
posted by ourt at 2:48 PM on November 5, 2014


Yeah, I mean... teenage girl posts photo of teenage boy with absolutely nothing sexually explicit or threatening or even remotely suggestive in the caption? No one has called him a whore or threatened to rape him at his place of work? He hasn't been driven from his home or place of work by threats of any kind? Yeah, I'd be 100% fine with the genders being reversed.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:51 PM on November 5, 2014 [52 favorites]


So who just is "Alex from Target?"

Yesterday's news next week.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


HOORAY A BEAUTIFUL PERSON WORKING FOR A CORPORATION I AM FILLED WITH APPRECIATION FOR PRODUCTS
posted by JHarris at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [52 favorites]


Is this "Target" a place where I could buy consumer goods for the holiday shopping season that coincidentally has just begun?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [24 favorites]


Meet the new Jason Bourne
posted by Flashman at 3:03 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


::long drawn out sigh::
posted by Splunge at 3:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


He started at 144 Twitter followers and now has nearly 600,000.

See, now this perfectly explains the midterm election results.

::long drawn out sigh::

You and me both.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:18 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Alright, now that really is creepy as fuck. If the genders were reversed someone would be up on charges right now.

LOL no. This happens and is happening with the genders reversed all the time, and nobody is prosecuted for it.

In particular, I remember a a lot of extremely and unapologetically creepy reactions to a picture of a pretty high school volleyball player a few years ago. Or search for stop girl.

I know there've been lots more, too, and I don't even pay attention to these things.
posted by ernielundquist at 3:22 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


The universe failed when it killed Andy Warhol before creating the internet.
posted by davebush at 3:23 PM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


twinklove is so creepy
posted by yesster at 3:25 PM on November 5, 2014


Oh, that Ellen! She always find such cute, innovative ways to have light-hearted romps with representatives from the Target corporation.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Weird, when he smiles he's the spitting image of a total idiot I know.

Count me among the "if this were a 16 year old girl the responses would be very different" crowd. He's 16. Yeah, he's ridiculously good looking (watch for the inevitable movie and/or singing career to happen in about five minutes, for about five minutes), but... I dunno. If it's gross with girls it's gross with boys. I'm reminded of the hordes of women (and men, for that matter) drooling over Taylor Lautner when Twilight was in the theatres and he was still 16 or 17. Also reminded of those super-rapey gay detective cartoons posted here the other day.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't want to be read as making some false equivalence--obviously there is an enormously long history of sexualizing young girls in not-okay ways that doesn't exist to the same degree. Just saying that leveling the playing field doesn't mean pushing one end down, I think, it means pushing the other end up.

Not to say that the story here isn't interesting, mind you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


This is not ok. But its also no the same as doing the exact same thing but to a girl. Alex received thousands of marriage proposals. If Alex were a she instead of a he, she would receive thousands of rape and death threats and her cloud would be hacked in an attempt to find and disseminate nude pictures.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2014 [27 favorites]


wait wait wait waitwaitwaitwaitwait fucking WAIT a god damn second.

Beautiful people don't work in stores! What the fuck?! Now I'm curious!
posted by shmegegge at 3:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope he's handling this okay. It seems like this would be overwhelming for anybody, let alone a 16 year-old.
posted by Corinth at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


This can easily be explained. After falling like a flaming 747 from super-stardom, Justin Bieber took a job at Target. He discovered it's hard to make ends meet on minimum wage, so he has another job at Burger King. He picks up the Sunday afternoon shift at The Gap, too, unless they don't have enough work and send him home after the first 15 minutes.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thinking about it, this is totally what happens when you replace hanging out at malls with social media; checking out the cute boy working at the store is probably a rite of passage as old as stores.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:05 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's definitely not OK. In fact, I stand pretty far on the side of "Don't put identifiable anything about other people on the internet without their permission", but anyone who genuinely believes that this sort of thing is considered a universal no-no or a prosecutable offense when the genders are reversed hasn't been paying attention.

Yes, it is likely that the reverse gender scenario would garner more negative reactions on Metafilter in 2014, but pictures of cute teenaged girls go viral all the time to varying degrees, and the sort of uproar some are predicting over relatively innocuous comments like these does not, in fact, happen.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:10 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


At this point, if you see a brand in anything, you can pretty much assume it's there for a reason.


If it wasn't originally viral marketing, it most certainly is now.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:17 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


JoeXIII007: "I hope he makes some money off of this and uses that to goto school for whatever. "

I think your solution might be considered harmful.
posted by symbioid at 4:29 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well whoever he is I don't approve of the way he wears his watch. Wrong way round, Alex.

Strike one.
posted by angerbot at 4:37 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think he needs a contract with the Disney Channel or at the very least Nickelodeon. Dude's got teen star written all over him.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:59 PM on November 5, 2014


So Target is selling people now? I mean, Target is a retail store and Alex is an advertised product. He has to be for sale.

Don't let me down America, tell me serfdom is the new hotness for 2015.
posted by BYiro at 5:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was the story where I finally realized I was An Old.
posted by desjardins at 5:20 PM on November 5, 2014 [12 favorites]


super-rapey gay detective cartoons posted here the other day

You bite your tongue, sir. Butch Cannon is JUSTICE.
posted by ostranenie at 5:37 PM on November 5, 2014


Insidious marketing hoax
posted by bobdow at 5:53 PM on November 5, 2014


Alex From Target Truthers for Justice
posted by duffell at 6:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


He will be murdered on the next episode of some shitty police procedural so it doesn't really matter.
posted by srboisvert at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2014


You bite your tongue, sir. Butch Cannon is JUSTICE.

No, Butch Cannon is rape. It's disgusting.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:03 PM on November 5, 2014


Oh until now I was thinking that this was the teenager who was caught humping a stuffed animal at a Target. Was wondering why BI thought that Target would hire someone for PR around that...
posted by ch1x0r at 8:14 PM on November 5, 2014


Oh, you jejune colonials.

Here's how to do it.
posted by Devonian at 8:26 PM on November 5, 2014


Just a hunch, but I think the whole thing was orchestrated by Starbucks.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:49 PM on November 5, 2014


I have no idea what's going on anymore

"I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me, and it'll happen to you, too." - Neo, when he took the red pill and discovered the Matrix
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:53 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Alright, now that really is creepy as fuck. If the genders were reversed someone would be up on charges right now.

It would definitely be creepy as all get out if a non-teenage woman was proposing marriage or writing dirty stuff.

Michelle Block did an interview w/Taylor Swift on NPR and there was some creepy 40 yr old guy and 55 year old guy making pretty creepy comments about how they want to date her, marry her, do her, and they listen to all her songs and buy her albums etc, etc.

Which reminds me of the creepy moms who wanted Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner to sign their boobs.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, creepers be creepin. It's gross no matter if it's a man or woman.
posted by discopolo at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah.... this would probably be a number of different shades of "not ok" if a dude had taken a surreptitious photo of a teenage girl at work and posted it with a leering caption.

Though it's unlikely that dudes would post it and say,"I want to marry her! She's so beautiful!" I think we'd probably see crude and graphic comments consisting of terrifying and twisted sexual fantasies like Artie Lange posted on Twitter.
posted by discopolo at 9:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


So Alex from Target hasn't been getting any death or rape threats?

That's good to know. I'm glad that the people on here who posted that know for a fact that there weren't any made. Because why would they happen? He's a guy, right? I bet you didn't even bother researching to find out if any threats were made. I bet you just assumed that there were no death threats because he's a guy and it's mostly girls who are obsessing over him. I mean, girls don't make death threats.

There's no way that Alex and his girlfriend got any threats at all.


I mean, maybe there might be one or two but not more than that!
posted by I-baLL at 12:21 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's worth noting that the only reported threats are against AfT's girlfriend and not against him, which actually reinforces what people are saying above.

Same thing has happened to at least one of the boys from One Direction, AFAIK.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:40 AM on November 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Er, to the girlfriend(s) of one of the boys, I meant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:40 AM on November 6, 2014


"It's worth noting that the only reported threats are against AfT's girlfriend and not against him"

Alex did not respond to the question if he got any harassment. His girlfriend said that they got too many threats to count. Also, the threats against his girlfriend seem to be coming from other girls.
posted by I-baLL at 12:53 AM on November 6, 2014




Seems derivative of Jake from State Farm, right down to the red shirt and khakis.

(On Googling, I'm hardly the first to make that connection.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:32 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


She sounds hideous.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:41 AM on November 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


khakis
I think you mean "key-yack-ees"
posted by soelo at 8:45 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Alex did not respond to the question if he got any harassment

Yes... which is why I said 'reported.' You were the person who pointed out factual inaccuracy; the facts that we know are only threats and harassment to Alex's girlfriend have been reported.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:48 AM on November 6, 2014


This is not ok. But its also no the same as doing the exact same thing but to a girl. Alex received thousands of marriage proposals. If Alex were a she instead of a he, she would receive thousands of rape and death threats and her cloud would be hacked in an attempt to find and disseminate nude pictures.

Oh. Good thing we don't use girls in advertising campaigns. Crisis averted.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:51 AM on November 6, 2014


#Pepsi Blue-but-it-isn't-blue-and-also-it's-not-Pepsi-and-everything-is-a-fractal-within-a-fractal-FromTarget

FTFY.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:54 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The universe failed when it killed Andy Warhol before creating the internet.
This is incorrect. The internet was created when Andy Warhol's dying consciousness was uploaded to the mainframe. This here is Andy, and we are in him.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:58 AM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


> if this were a 16 year old girl the responses would be very different

And if this were a 16-year-old snail we'd have a third set of responses.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:22 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Allison Stokke (2007 WaPo, sfw) is the "what if it were a girl???" you're looking for.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:49 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


soelo: "khakis
I think you mean "key-yack-ees"
"

Must be a Clevelander.
posted by symbioid at 11:27 AM on November 6, 2014


Wait, so has Benedict Cumberbatch's fiancee gotten death threats? I'm asking for a friend.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:44 AM on November 6, 2014




The correction on the NYT article has got to be the best thing that has come from this whole story:

Correction: November 10, 2014
An article on Thursday about the latest Internet sensation of “Alex from Target,” a picture of a teenager bagging merchandise at the retailer that went viral online, described incorrectly a subsequent Internet posting of “Kel from Good Burger.” It was a frame from the 1997 film “Good Burger” starring the actor Kel Mitchell; it was not a photograph of a teenager in a job.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I guess this NYT update hasn't been posted yet? Looks like yes, he's getting direct death threats just for existing online. And of course the family has been doxxed.

"There have even been dozens of death threats on social media and in private messages (“Alex from target, I’ll find you and I will kill you”).
Alex is no stranger to some of this behavior. He told me he was bullied in elementary school and has learned to disregard “the hate” — though, he said, it’s increasingly difficult to ignore. But his parents, who are incredibly happy for Alex, say this hostility has been difficult to watch.
“The biggest concern for myself and my wife is some of the negativity we’re seeing online,” said his father, Eric Fooks, who is a small-business consultant. “Our concern is making sure he’s safe.”
Mr. Fooks said that in addition to death threats, people have leaked the family’s personal information online, including Social Security numbers, bank accounts and phone records. The family, worried for the safety of Alex and his five siblings, has been in contact with the local police. Alex’s parents have met with his school’s principal and security officers, as well as Target managers, to put together security plans in case of an emergency."

posted by jenfullmoon at 2:45 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


« Older Painting with feet   |   I don’t think I was born white. I think white... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments