Target's Canadian launch to feature theme to 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood'

Would you be mind, could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbour? OK, Target. You had us at childhood nostalgia.

One of America’s largest retail chains is moving into Canada with the promise of being a good neighbour, and a catchy jingle from our youth.

Target locations will start opening across Canada next month and the affair will be marked with a commercial airing during Sunday’s Oscars. The commercial will include the theme song to “Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood” — the civil PBS television program that taught us the importance of friendship, humility and honesty.

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It is the first time the song has ever been licenced for commercial use. Lisa Gibson, a Target Canada spokesperson, told Yahoo! Canada News the song has been redone by Toronto band Dragonette.

The commercial features a distinct red maple leaf and shots of several  distinct Canadian locations, such as downtown Toronto and British Columbia’s redwood forests.

“We are very pleased with the spot and can't wait for it to debut on Sunday,” she said.

The song meshes with the theme of Target’s Canada expansion: neighbourliness. The company’s website features the slogan, “We can’t wait to meet you,” and the company will sell an limited-edition line of Roots clothing.

Here’s another piece of Canadiana. "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," which ran in the U.S. from 1968 to 2001, actually began in Canada.

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Creator Fred Rogers first launched the show as a 15-minute program on CBC in 1963. At the time called “Misterogers,” the show still featured a cast of puppets and a trolley that transported viewers to the Neighbourhood of Make Believe.

Gibson said Target was aware of Mr. Rogers' Canadian roots and said it was “part of the reason it felt right.”

Now, if their next commercial features Casey and Finnegan, the transition will be complete.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press