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Argos invests over £10m in rebrand campaign to “get people to sit up and take notice”

Argos has ploughed over £10m into its biggest campaign to date aimed at communicating its digital transformation.

Speaking to The Drum, marketing director Stephen Vowles said that over the past two years it has quietly made changes to its in-store and online proposition as part of a £300m investment into the transformation, including the introduction of Fast Track collection, free reservation online, and a click and collect partnership with eBay.

“Now it’s time to time to get people to think about Argos differently and get customers and non-customers to sit up and take notice,” he said.

“Argos is unique and we don’t want to just be a slightly different version of a high street retailer or a slightly different version of a pure play online retailer. We want to assert our own uniqueness and re-establish ourselves as a unique category of one player.”

The campaign, created by CHI&Partners, has seen the brand drop its popular alien family in favour of a slick, energetic ad featuring break-dancers, skateboarders, and BMX-ers playing out to 'How You Like Me Now?' by The Heavy.

Vowles explained: “There’s a lot of advertising out there that makes people go ‘Ahhh, isn’t that sweet. That’s not really who Argos is. We’re about excitement, action and that’s what we wanted to capture – a real sense of dynamism, drama, speed and action."

The ad uses the strapline ‘Get Set Go Argos’ to reinforce the message.

From tomorrow (14 October) it will run across TV – launching on ITV1’s Long Lost Family, Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and Channel 5’s Crimes That Shook Britain as well Downton Abbey, X Factor and Homeland throughout the rest of the year.

For the first time, Argos has also advertised across cinema and out of home. The national billboard campaign has looked to highlight some of the more popualr brands it carries such as Beats headphones.

The retailer has also scrapped its bright blue uniforms, trucks and carrier bags.

New black and red uniforms have been rolled out to 100 stores ahead of Christmas, with the remaining 630 stores to receive them witthin the next year.

New carrier bags have been introduced across the whole estate as has a new “vibrant” in-store product display and point of sale messaging.

Similarly, its fleet of 500 delivery trucks are in the process of being rebranded. The traditional blue has been replaced with a white truck featuring a colourful image of spilled paint.

The website and apps have been refreshed to reflect the in-store changes with a slicker site set to be introduced mid-October. Over the next year, Vowles said that it will continue to gather customer data in a bid to make it more personalised.

“We’ve done some basic things, but we’ve only just begun to scrape the surface on personalisation. It always sounds easy but it is challenging,” he added.

It comes after online rival Amazon announced it would be opening its first bricks and mortar store.

Commenting on the move, Vowles said: “I would say that if you look at the transformation programme and what we’re trying to do as a business we absolutely believe that there is a real sweetspot for where a digital presence meets a store presence and if you believe that then it’s great when you have it in 730 stores.”

The advert and print collateral will be updated in the coming month as its moves into the Christmas period.

Jennifer Faull

The Drum senior reporter Jen Faull provides news and insight on the latest developments in retail and FMCG.

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