The last place to go

7 October 2009 at 1:07 pm 1 comment


Andrew Curry writes:

We’ve been having a bit of an argument in the London office about 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 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.

Entry filed under: advertising, brands, consumers, retail. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ian  |  9 October 2009 at 11:36 am

    An interesting ad. It does not directly suggest any benefit of going to the Dixons online store. So, presumably its goal was simply to increase brand awareness of the Dixons online store. As such, maybe it works. If that was the goal then it would have worked for me much better than a boring “get super things at super prices at our online store” kind of statement. For me it is a more memorable ad. As a large company, Dixons can probably afford some “brand awareness” advertising that is not directly aimed at getting sales.

    Personally, I wish there were a few more Piers’s out there who did know their products and gave a great service … ho hum! Maybe their goal was to remind us that there are very few Piers’s left in the world … but I can’t really see the point of that! Something tells me they are not at Dixons online either!


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The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.

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