Argos launches first co-branded ad campaign with Sainsbury’s under new CMO

Argos has featured Sainsbury’s in an advertising campaign for the first time since the retailer was taken over by the supermarket in 2016.

The summer push is also the first to come from marketing director Gary Kibble, who joined from Mothercare last year.

In a shake-up from its previous marketing efforts, this campaign has ditched fast-paced, fantasy ads that have featured everything from aliens to monsters, in favour of a story showing a family making their way from their house to a holiday campsite.

Speaking to The Drum, Kibble said that the shift in style came on the back of research he conducted before arriving at the company which suggested that Argos customers talk about the brand in a “rational” way – shopping for the price, range or convenience – but don’t have any emotional connection to it.

“Argos was very good about communicating what they did but not why,” said Kibble. “But brands that build emotional connections rather than just rational ones are more successful.”

In addition to the injection of a family-centered story, the tagline of Argos’ advertising has also been tweaked from ‘Go Argos’ to ‘You’re Good to Go.'

“The old one sounded like we were cheering ourselves on as a brand. It always assumed the customer wanted things fast… It had pace, but [the new one] acknowledges that sometimes it’s about the convenience or tapping into the flexibility of delivery and collection.”

The year-long campaign, created by The&Partnership London, will run on TV from this week and be supported by digital, social, in-store and print executions.

Co-branding with Sainsbury's

It’s also the first ever campaign to bring the Argos and Sainsbury’s brands together.

“What we’re trying to communicate is the brand purpose,” said Kibble of the move. “We now have over 200 Argos stores in a Sainsbury’s store – we’re reached a point of critical mass and there’s enough customers to experience that narrative. This is a catalyst for change in the organisation.”

Throughout the year, Argos and Sainsbury’s – the latter being led by marketing director Mark Given – will look for further opportunities for co-branding.

Kibble expects these to come from key events in the calendar, for example the upcoming World Cup where Sainsbury’s might showcase the Argos TV range alongside the usual food and drink it would promote around a match.

“Myself and Mark talk about it and agree that where it adds value we’ll do it,” said Kibble. “We’re not adverse to building the relationship.”

Last week saw the launch of Sainsbury’s clothing brand Tui on the Argos platform while a major focus for the year ahead will be integrating Argos on to the Nectar platform.

Sainsbury’s bought the loyalty scheme outright earlier this year and Kibble said positioning that to customers will be a priority moving forward.

“This is an area where customers have said it would be amazing. That’s a really exciting opportunity but it’s a really technical job.”

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