Andrew Curry writes:
We’ve been having a bit of an argument in the London office about dixons.co.uk advertising which has been running on the London underground. The picture, above, captures the flavour; lots of text in which a trip to an identifiable department store to look at some upmarket consumer electronics is descibed quite affectionately, with the final line, in Dixons’ branding, “then go to dixons.co.uk to buy it.”
The argument is about the ad’s effectiveness. On the one hand, it’s right on trend. Work we did for AOL a couple of years ago identified the way in which consumers shift between online and offline channels increasingly seamlessly as their customer journey develops from awareness to purchase and maintenance. And our post-recession research shows an increase in ‘savvy shopping‘.
On another hand, the copywriting about the department store experience is sufficiently warm that it reminds you of the service such stores offer – and not everyone is as transactional as the ad tries to suggest, even in a recession.
And on another: the argument is about the effectiveness of this for Dixon’s. Its own stores, now closed or rolled into the Curry’s Digital brand (full disclosure: absolutely no relation), were a byword for customer indifference. And online, Dixon’s is not the cheapest supplier.
In fact the ad polarised office opinion – an impromptu survey showed that half the people who responded liked it, and half didn’t. The half that didn’t tended to be older and better-off.
And I have to say that I’m in the second category. The ad’s strapline, “Dixon’s; the last place to go”, is clever, but it’s too clever for its own good. For me it taps in, almost too precisely, to a whole lot of brand associations which – were if I Dixons – I’d have preferred to leave dormant.