I should point out straight away that I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of Argos' communications over the past year or so. This year's campaign is no different, and interesting piece of creative positioned well so that it is very visible and prominent.
I have one complaint however. It is not Christmas, it is the middle of sodding October.
While I appreciate the need to produce advertising and run it in the build up to Christmas (working as I do on retail clients), I worry that you are wasting money on simply annoying people when you could instead be saving that budget for an appropriate time when the work would raise a smile.
Now to be fair, you may have such a large media budget that it doesn't matter if you start your Christmas 2011 advertising on pancake day; but that doesn't mean you should.
Likewise, you may be facing competitors pushing their Christmas advertising further forward each year until you have to start promoting in summer. But why not at the very least create some work that references the fact it is early, and make that a point of humour; making your competitors look silly for getting in so ridiculously early.
I'm by no means a Scrooge, by no means a killjoy. I love the fun and happy atmosphere created by Christmas and the spirit of the season. My issue is that this IS NOT the season, this is early autumn, this is early even to have Halloween parties.
In the meeting where the media schedule is discussed, when it was said "And our Christmas campaign this year will start in the second week of October", a full 10 weeks before Christmas, and well over 70 days... how did no one say "Isn't that a bit early?". If in a media review it was suggested that we start promoting a summer sale in the middle of March, that might be considered a bit weird. Or perhaps we should start the early promotion of Christmas 2013 next August.
Two years in a row the first Christmas advertising I have seen has been for Argos, and contrary to what some people might think that is not a good thing. It just makes me want to avoid your stores and ignore your advertising for the next month, precisely the time I actually start looking for Christmas bargains and start deciding where to shop.
What I'm trying to say is: Please stop spoiling your interesting creative work by running it at a completely innapropriate time. I'd like to be able to react to your work based on it's merits, not the fact that I am aghast at seeing Christmas work already.
I hope next year we can meet properly at a reasonable time, try say a few days after Bonfire night at the very very earliest.
Regards and Merry Xmas
Rob "Cringle" Mortimer