Did someone say mummering?

Target folk get kitted up for a frightening evening of friendly home invasions. What a jolly time of year.

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“It was not a black tie event. There was no polite talk,” said Target’s founder Noel O’Dea in an e-mail following the agency’s raucous holiday shindig on Canada’s easternmost province. And based on the wild snapshots filed to us by Target this week, we’d have to agree with advertising’s most jolly fella: “This was not the Carlu.”

O’Dea, coined the “Chief Mummering Officer (CMO)” for the evening, led his 60-person team on an uproarious rampage last weekend, all in the name of a quirky Newfoundland and Labrador tradition.

You see, for those (like this Stim writer, who has the excuse of being a new-ish, first-gen Canadian) unfamiliar with the act of “mummering,” here’s a cheat sheet:

First, you forget all common dress sense and place upon your body a range of items from frightening masks to multi-coloured skirts, shirts and shoes; then, your new unidentified self must attempt to enter neighbouring homes and, if let in, proceed to play music, dance, jest and perform; finally, if your audience can correctly ID you, the disguise may come off and the socializing can begin (or you can travel as a mummering group to the next unsuspecting home).

“Everyone wanted a highly creative and fun experience versus the usual ‘best practice’ of a plastic manufactured experience in Salon A of some hotel,” said O’Dea. “We never hire resumes. We hire people. Real people, not Kardashians. Because they’re a lot more fun at Christmas parties.”

It’s off-the-wall ridiculous, and utterly brilliant. How the centuries-old tradition (celebrating 200 years in 2019!) was onceĀ banned is a mystery.

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