Argos believes ‘fun and uplifting’ ads will be most powerful this Christmas

As it launches an elf-filled Christmas campaign, Argos says it isn’t interested in making emotional festive ads like John Lewis.

For the second year in a row, Argos has modelled a Christmas ad around the speed of its same day delivery service.

This year’s ‘Ready for take-off’ campaign, which was created by CHI&Partners, is set in a fictional Argos distribution centre, where a group of elves are busy helping Santa deliver thousands of gadgets. However, a Teksta voice-recognition robotic puppy is accidentally left behind, with a quick-thinking female elf involved in a race against time to ensure the toy makes it on board what can only be described as a festive delivery spaceship.

The primary 60-second ad, which will debut tonight (3 November) during Channel 4’s Gogglebox, ends with the message: “Argos, ready for take-off. Presents delivered within four hours” – this year, the brand will be fulfilling deliveries up until 6pm on Christmas Eve.

According to Gary Kibble, marketing director at Argos, the Sainsbury’s-owned retail brand wanted to avoid an overly emotional narrative.

During the research stage, he says consumers overwhelmingly said they wanted extra convenience around online delivery this Christmas and with 80% of Argos orders now fulfilled in-store, Kebble wanted the ad to shine a light on the work of Argos staff.

The whole tugging on the heart strings tactic is a weepy element more associated with John Lewis – that’s definitely something we don’t want to move into.

Gary Kibble, Argos

“One thing we talk about internally is about tugging on the heart beats and not the heart strings. If we focus on appealing to the heart beats, we can tap into the speed and energy of our shoppers’ lives and that’s more powerful,” he tells Marketing Week.

“The whole tugging on the heart strings tactic is a weepy element more associated with John Lewis – that’s definitely something we don’t want to move into. With the economy not in great shape, people want something this Christmas to be fun and uplifting.”

READ MORE: Consumers show ‘worrying enthusiasm for spending’ as Christmas approaches

Since last year’s £1.4bn acquisition by Sainsbury’s there has been a growing number of Argos concessions opening within the supermarket’s stores – this currently stands at around 180. And although the advertising around the two brands currently operates separately, Kibble admits the idea of one day bringing them together under one TV campaign is an “interesting thought”.

He concludes: “There’s an opportunity as 40% of the respective customer base currently shops at both brands so encouraging the other 60% to shop across the two is a big opportunity.

“We have a strong relationship with the marketing team at Sainsbury’s and we often share best practice with one another. Do I see one big ad campaign in the future? It’s difficult to answer that, but it’s certainly an interesting thought.”

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