Argos Performs Christmas Magic

An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy



Welcome to the first week of Christmas Ad coverage on Ad of The Week – as usual we’re testing everything we can find to produce the definitive verdict on the tinsel and turkeys of this year’s ads.

Like everything else about 2020, Christmas ads are different this year. Or… are they? The smart money before the ads started coming out was that people wouldn’t appreciate the usual fun, fantasy and escapism after a year of lockdowns, grief and economic chaos.

But this analysis runs the risk of repeating the mistakes advertisers made during the first wave of Covid. As System1’s testing showed, the campaigns from “normal” times actually worked just as well during the pandemic. It was certainly true that a lot of advertisers made brilliant campaigns themed around Covid-19 (and if you were following Ad Of The Week this year, you’ll have seen who). But there were also a lot of generic, weakly branded ads.

So going into Christmas it’s no surprise that so far most of the highest-scoring campaigns have avoided explicit reference to the pandemic. Take Argos, with its 4.5-Star “An Evening With AbracaDaisy And The Incredible Lucy” – a charming tale of two kids putting on a magic show for their family, with not a mention of the virus.

The Argos ad follows on from last year’s “Book Of Dreams” ad – the one with the Dad and daughter rocking out to Simple Minds – and the Book Of Dreams Christmas catalogue features early on, which helps the ad hit an astonishingly high 1.62 Spike score and score exceptional Fluency. So it’s not just great storytelling which helps the Argos brand, it also should have a powerful short-term impact for them.

It’s too early to say whether the trend of non-Covid-related Christmas ads outsourcing the Covid-related ones will hold, but it wouldn’t surprise us. In the Spring, people were scared and wanted reassurance. In the Winter, people are bored and grumpy and want something magical and escapist. Argos delivers.