Raving Reporter, Blaise Bickerton-Leman, reviews Argos’ brand new product focused campaign, which aims to change perceptions and put the consumer in control.
Argos have been doing pretty well recently – they’ve had an ad campaign top Marketing’s most recalled ads list in 2013, their half year sales figures have increase year-on-year, and they’re also planning to open fifty new stores in the next few months (sounds pretty good so far!). However, despite this success, last month Argos took the brave move to drop their infamous alien campaign, which first launched three years ago, in favour of a more product focused marketing campaign.
Personally, I think this is a great move for the brand, after all recall isn’t everything in the advertising world. Likeability and a real connection with your audience have a huge part to play and this new campaign, which puts their products at the centre of the action, hits the spot for me.
Developed by CHI & Partners, they wanted to bring to life the retailer’s unique offering, to act as a “catalyst for customers, existing and new, to think and feel differently about Argos, as the largest multi-channel retailer in the UK continues to transform to become a digital leader”. This campaign comes six months after John Walden (head of their parent company Home Retail Group) announced plans to revamp stores into so-called ‘digital concept stores’, where the old-style catalogues are replaced by tablets, fast-track queues are introduced for customers to collect online orders, and shops are given a makeover to look much more modern, stripped back and more akin to an Apple store.
The original concept when the brand launched in 1972 was a ‘department store in communities that didn’t have department stores’, allowing people to pop in, pick up their product, and head straight back out. This was a bold concept at the time, long before the invention of Amazon, eBay or any of the other big online retailers, however fast-forward forty years and (in Walden’s own words) “amongst some customers, Argos has been viewed historically as an downmarket, old-fashioned or outdated brand.”.
This new campaign shakes this up and could easily be mistaken for a more prestigious retailer such as Debenhams, House of Fraser or Amazon. In fact my husband thought this was a John Lewis ad when it first cropped up in an X Factor ad break (yes, guilty! - I can’t resist watching it…)!
It clearly targets a younger audience, showing a brand that has a passion for great products, whilst not taking themselves too seriously. It also does a great job at highlighting the brands that customers might not expect to find in an Argos, such as Dualit, Magimix, Dyson or Beats. This is about changing perceptions and putting the consumer in control, through an improved customer experience both online and in-store.
So what do you think? Race you to the nearest store…