By Jeff Finkle
AdForum: The 80 Days of Argos is an ambitious undertaking for a brand and an exciting opportunity for your creative team. What was the creative reasoning behind the length of the campaign extending to 80 days and to time-stamp the individual ads? Also, how are you supporting the TV spots through social media?
Laura: Running a different ad every day for 80 day is a bit bonkers but the inspiration is actually pretty simple. It all started from Argos’ promise that they can deliver over 20,000 products nationwide in a matter of hours. So if you want something today, you can literally get it today. That’s what every ad in the campaign says, but each one says it differently. Each ad is created for just one day, runs for just one day, and shows product you could get on that day. And to prove it, each ad is also date-stamped with the date that it runs. While the 80 ads share this structure, their similarities end there. From hamsters raving around Bose speakers, to a Formula 1 race between lawnmowers, this campaign uses products and dates in just about every way you can imagine.
Our sister agency AllTogetherNow are managing the social strategy. All TV spots are being published on the Argos social channels, allowing the organic audience of 1.5m fans to watch the fun unfold and recognise the daily nature of the campaign. Rather than seeing the same TVC every day for the length of a campaign (as happens with most brands), they get something fresh and topical each morning, ready for them when they wake up!
We’ve already seen that the social audience like the variety of the campaign. There’s something for everyone, and as such we’ve had fans uploading images of their own pets (inspired by April 14th – ‘cats on laptops’) or tagging their friends who have dreamt of having robot vacuums (April 18th – ‘robot vacuum maze’).
Media spend is widening the social reach of the TVCs, and features a mix of general targeting (again, to land the regular campaign) and targeting which is relevant to the creative – i.e. the tech products have tech audience targeting and remarketing. This is helping to drive revenue directly from the ads, as well as the associated brand value.
In addition, the Social Customer Service team have been briefed to align with the campaign, and are proactively seeking out social conversations in which Fast Track Same Day delivery can save the day.
AdForum: How much does this innovatve nature of the campaign stem from the mutual trust between Argos and CHI&Partners?
Laura: To get a project of this scale out into the world, you need all the help you can get. Thankfully the marketing team at Argos was supportive of this idea from the start because they recognized it as a great way to talk about same-day delivery. Although at the time I don’t think anyone knew just what we were getting ourselves in to and the mutual trust with Argos has helped us to overcome the challenges along the way
AdForum: By producing ads that run throughout the Spring and the Summer it gives your team a chance to promote the enormity of products you can buy at Argos as well as have fun with the calendar your campaign revolves around. Can you talk about some of the events that the campaign will cover without giving away each ad’s entertaining payoff?
Laura: Argos has so many unique and interesting products that it’s a creative dream. There’s so much to play with and we really got into it. We worked with Princess C and BB8 to create a space landing out of a barbeque for the bank holiday weekend, a race-running robot on London marathon day, and in the height of summer, a Newton’s cradle out of space-hoppers. From the beautiful to the bizarre, we did it all with Argos products. The campaign features roughly 300 different Argos items. I think that’s a record in itself.
AdForum: What has been the biggest challenge so far in coming up with 80 whimsical ten-second ads for each day of the campaign that not only all maintain the spirit of the campaign and Argos’ brand but hit home the message of same-day delivery?
Laura: To keep ourselves (and the consumers) sane, each ad follows the same basic structure. But after that, it was open season. So while the executions vary wildly, the main message is consistent. And the brilliant bit is that you’ll only see the ad for 28 April 28 on 28 April so you know that when we say same-day delivery, we really mean today.
AdForum: How many ideas ended up being tossed away because they didn’t quite nail that clever humor the audience has come to expect from Argos ads and the work that your team has produced in the past?
Laura: There were so many ideas in this project that the storyboard artist got a repetitive strain injury. But one of the best bits was that our directors, Tim & Joe from Friend, were involved right from the creative development stage. They spent several weeks working (they may say captive) in a room with us hashing out the ideas and scripts. We got to know each other really well. Which was handy because we weren’t afraid to call bullshit if a script wasn’t quite good enough. No one wants to go to this much effort and not love the result, so we were pretty uncompromising with each other creatively. This may sound like the process was intense, but on balance it was 10% ruthless, 90% ridiculous. How can you be serious when you’re trying to write a song in Furbish or imagine what sound grass would make if you tickle it?
AdForum: Do you personally have one favorite ad from the campaign?
Laura: Every week I have a new favourite! My current is 30 April, when two hoovers get romantic with each other.
AdForum: Should the audience be on the look-out for any other fun Yeti- like creatures, celebrities or athletes that may appear in the campaign?
Laura: With 80 ads, there are tons of surprises in store. You’ll have to watch them all to find out.