Argos's ‘The Book of Dreams’ ad is a Christmas gift, particularly for those born in the 80s

Argos's ‘The Book of Dreams’ ad is a Christmas gift, particularly for those born in the 80s

The Background

It’s that time of year again and the Christmas ads are dropping. 

One of the early releases is from Argos, The Book of Dreams.

The Big Idea

Argos has leant into that thing about it that is unique for people like me – children of the 80s – the Argos catalogue. 

It has called it ‘The Book of Dreams’ and it has got it so right. 

The actual catalogue has never gone away – but us poor deprived children of the 80s didn’t have iPads or Netflix to keep us entertained, so its role in our lives was greater. 

I remember clearly filling rainy days by fantasising that I could have one thing per page from the toy section. I’d circle the items. As we live in England and there are a lot of rainy days I’d eventually deface the much loved tome as I’d change my mind, having to switch to dots so I’d be clear what I’d choose when the fantasy eventually became a reality (if only). 

So it’s not surprising that I LOVE THIS. 

It squarely places Argos in a space that’s unique to itself. That said I can see why it moved away from this place for so many years. It had to lean into other stuff to ensure it didn’t seem outdated and show that it can compete with the likes of Amazon. Argos has succeeded I think. I know, for example, that it does same-day delivery and that the online site is incredibly simple to navigate and use. 

But the time was definitely right to return to its roots and this place that only Argos can own.

What They Did

The execution sees a dad casually pick up a copy and zero in on a kid’s drum kit. 

Next minute this kit has replaced the book and he’s drumming away, before the world around him starts to change. 

The masterstroke comes when Jim Kerr appears on the telly and we realise he’s drumming away to a Simple Minds classic.

His daughter eventually joins him and the fantasy expands reaching a climax as they find themselves playing to packed arena.

The Review

The addition of Jim Kerr is key as it further places this in that nostalgic zone – hitting people like me square in the heart. 

The addition of the daughter is of course designed to remind me that the magic can exist for her too. The other day I came into the kitchen and found my nine year old circling stuff in a catalogue – I don’t even know where she got it from. The times have changed, but the appeal of this simple act is timeless, and therein lies the magic.

I’m one of those annoying people that sort Christmas early. After seeing this I immediately blew a few hundred on Lego from Argos. I knew what I wanted, knew it would stock it, knew there’d not be a major price difference due to Lego price fixing, so I chose Argos based purely on this. And that special place it holds in my heart. 

Of course, not everyone is a child of the 80s so it will be interesting to see how it performs for younger demographics. Time will tell.  

In Hindsight

Really looking forward to seeing how Argos brings this to life through the line. 

Showing that simple universal joy of the fantasy of it all is such a rich territory.

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