We've likened the Christmas season in the U.K. to the Super Bowl in the U.S., given the number of big production, high-stakes films that debut this time of year in that market. Retailer Argos is first out of the blocks with an uplifting blockbuster, directed by Traktor and featuring some full-on '80s nostalgia.
The spot, by The&Partnership, taps into customers' affection for its print catalog, for which Argos is famous (in its pre-digital days, the store format worked by customers picking items from the catalog and then ordering them from a counter in-store.) It begins with a man sitting in his kitchen looking through catalog and noticing that his child has circled a kids' drum kit. As he goes off into a reverie, the drum kit bursts into his kitchen and he starts to play Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me," his TV magically coming to life and playing the original video as the kitchen turns into a venue for his own private gig.
He's eventually joined by his daughter and after some impressive father-daughter drumming riffs, the two find themselves in a full-blown rock concert, in which all kinds of items from the catalog also feature, including washing machines, a giant teddy bear and lit-up refrigerators. Everything in the ad is featured in the catalog, from slippers to kettles, and the spot finishes with a shot of the catalog, alongside tagline "The book of dreams."
Ahead of the TV ad, Argos launched a social campaign that saw celebrities, influencers and members of the public surprised with their own personalized catalog from when they were young. Argos also the created first ever digital repository of vintage catalogs from the last four decades, which attracted over 1.8 million visits in its first 48 hours.
“This year we wanted to celebrate a festive tradition that families up and down the country all know and love," said Dan Elton, head of marketing communications at Argos in a statement. "The nostalgia of circling your dream gift in the Argos catalog never goes away and it’s still going strong in today’s tech-obsessed world.”
“The idea started with a great bit of planning," added Danny Hunt, creative director at The&Partnership. "The brief reminded us that Christmas starts with the Argos catalog arriving. As kids past and present we’ve all spent hours sifting through it, circling all the stuff we wanted. This led us to the idea that this is so much more than a catalog. It’s a book of dreams. And that was a big idea we all got very excited about.”
"We had the proper ingredients: a great story, the most iconic humdinger from the 80’s, full access to that classic video, two superstar drummers, a couple of kids’ drum kits and a crew that absolutely loved this project," added production company Stink."