So what to make of the new Argos Xmas ad.
What starts as a nice idea is spoiled by a seeming desire to describe in full detail the booking and ordering process. The 1m version does so in such an obvious way that it switched me off from the whole ad. I wish CHI had focused on the entertaining part of the idea, and made the whole piece absorbing rather than trying to stick a couple of jokes in to make up it.
I don't think it's a strectch to say this ad is very much based on the Smash Martians. Aliens observe the human way of doing things and comment on it... the difference was that John Webster made the Smash Martians lovable and silly, the benefits and message were wrapped up in a way which made them feel part of the idea. They were ramshackle and cheap, but that made them engaging. The writing was natural and you couldn't help but follow along. Nothing wrong with being inspired by one of the best ads ever made, but don't forget to be influenced by what made it so good too.
The Argos aliens look too polished, too human; and instead of feeling like characters you can laugh along with or relate to, you feel like every word they say is being targeted at you as a customer, not as a person watching TV. It's as if a client wrote the copy, and that's rarely a good thing.
It's a shame really, the idea is there; and being from CHI the talent is clearly there, but this ad just doesn't achieve what it could. I hope that they can take the idea and do something better with it, it has the potential.