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By Marc Lewis, Dean

November 2, 2018 | 3 min read

The festive season is almost upon us – which means it’s time for advertisers to up their budgets and start producing shiny snow-covered campaigns again. This Christmas Marc Lewis, the highly-revered creative mind who leads the School of Communications Arts London, will review (in his opinion) the merits of some of the biggest brands' seasonal spots with a creative eye, separating the Christmas crackers from the turkeys.

Argos Christmas ad

'The first commercial out the gate is a proper Christmas turkey' says Marc Lewis

Oh sweet baby Jesus!

I’ve just agreed to review the Christmas ads, I can’t afford to upset any of the agencies because I rely on them to help fund scholarships and/or give students jobs. But the first commercial out the gate is a proper Christmas turkey.

The&Partnership has made a 90-second advert for Argos with the big idea (and I use that phrase quite wrongly) being that you can rely on Argos not to screw up Christmas. How uplifting! How cheerful! How utterly unbelievable.

The narrative of the film riffs on adventures of ‘The Fool’ who goes from house to house, causing mischief, destroying Christmas trees, hiding Sellotape, that sort of tomfoolery. Except that he can’t mess up Christmas at the house that gets its presents delivered from Argos. We are told that we can fool-proof our Christmas by booking same day delivery or collect in-store.

Just like Amazon, except that the online giant has over 13,000 collection points and a much larger range of products. There are 20 collection points within a three-minute walk from the school in Brixton, but only one Argos collection point.

So Argos has found a proposition to shout about, in which it is inferior to its competition, and it has executed it with CGI that looks like it was created on a Commodore Amiga.

What a waste.

The concept of Argos as a store is such a big idea, with so much nostalgia invested in it. What a shame that the creative teams behind this Christmas advert swerved from presenting a big idea, or anything with a touch of nostalgia.

Carry on making Turkeys like this, and 2019 will have a few more empty shops on the High Street.

Score out of 5?

A generous 2.


Keep up with The Drum's 2018 Christmas coverage here.

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