Mischievous fool causes chaos in Argos Christmas ad

From missing Sellotape to broken fairy lights, Argos wants customers to know when things go wrong at Christmas, it has a “foolproof” solution.

A mischievous Christmas ‘fool’ determined to ruin Christmas is the star of Argos’s 2018 festive campaign, which breaks this evening (Friday 2 November) during Coronation Street on ITV and Gogglebox on Channel 4.

The impish creature, which looks a bit like a Christmas version of Dobby the elf from Harry Potter (but with an extra sock), causes chaos around the house as a family try and get their final Christmas preparations into place – from breaking fairy lights and stealing Sellotape, to unwrapping presents and knocking things over.

It is based on research Argos conducted to find out how its customers’ Christmases usually play out. One customer said it sometimes feels like there’s a Christmas gremlin. And so the bell-eared fool was born.

“In the run-up to preparing for the creation of the ad we spent a lot of time with customers to really understand what some of the rich insights were that they had about Christmas in their households,” marketing director Gary Kibble tells Marketing Week.

“There was definitely one theme that came out: there’s this real sense that they want it to be perfect, especially Christmas Day, but the reality is that it never is. What we’re doing is personifying that through the Christmas fool. And what that leads us on to there is that Argos can give you, as a customer, a foolproof Christmas.”

Argos expects to deal with around 19 million orders in stores this Christmas. The 90-second ad, created by The&Partnership, looks to highlight the availability of Argos’ click & collect service and same-day fast track home delivery option, showing that Argos is “there for everybody’s shopping needs”.

It is the first time Sainsbury’s has featured in an Argos Christmas ad, as Argos looks to tap into a much broader audience and build a stronger link between the two.

“The relationship we have with Sainsbury’s has opened up a whole new audience for us. We really are appealing to this broad church of customer,” Kibble adds.

READ MORE: The Marketing Week Christmas blog 2018

“If you go back to our emotional brand benefit, which is customers saying I need you to move at the speed of my life so I feel ready for everything, Sainsbury’s really does amplify that emotional brand benefit because suddenly we open our points of presence materially.”

While the full-length ad focuses more on the narrative and building an “emotional connection” with consumers, a number of 20-second spots featuring products, prices and promotions will run across online, TV and VOD.

2018 has undoubtedly been a tougher year for retailers. However, in spite of Brexit woes, downbeat consumer spending and increased competition from the likes of Amazon, Kibble believes Argos will perform well and can take a “decent share of a tough market”.

The absence of Toys R Us, which went under earlier this year, could also work in its favour.