argos christmas 2

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Argos' Christmas Opus is a big bowl of joy and love

Like a hot toddy, The&Partnership, has spread some much needed seasonal cheer

By jeremy lee

"All together now:

Live (la, la, la, la-lah)

Live is life"

When the Austrian pop band Opus first wrote these profound lyrics to their seminal 1985 hit, little can they have realised that it would become a central part of Christmas in the UK some three decades later.

Argos, which has used the hit in its advertising for two years, has rearranged the score to give it a more cinematic, instrumental and festive feel for its brilliant Christmas spot from The&Partnership.

In truth, it's just the icing on the cake (or the squirty cream on the trifle) in an ad that has managed to bring some much-needed Ho Ho Hos when everything else seems so earnest, preachy or kitsch.

That's not to say that the "truth" in the campaign is not anchored in a stark reality - tougher times means invites to Christmas lunches will become prized gifts. Little wonder those crowds rushing round to celebrate Christmas at someone else's look so joyful.

And rather than film the ad in a schmaltzy, phoney idealised Christmas wonderland, replete with crisp white snow and red robins, the fairly ordinary housing estate on a very ordinary, mild and grey winter day shares a reality with most people's Christmas.

And how clever and subtle to squeeze in some product in an unobtrusive and narratively appropriate way when other retailers have either overdone it or shown none at all.

The performance of the leading couple is a masterpiece - particularly when the doorbell rings - and the payoff line that nods to Jaws raises a smile on every viewing.

In my view, at least, Argos owns this Christmas. To paraphrase Opus, The&Partnership all gave the power, and all gave the best. And I absolutely love it.


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