Covid-19: AO reverses no-TV ad policy to launch new campaign

Consumer electronics e-tailer has abandoned its no television advertising policy to launch a new campaign, which will air for the first time tonight (1 May).

The new TV advert, which was created by the retailer’s internal production team in two weeks, will reassure customers that it continues to deliver electricals safely to every UK postcode during the current coronavirus crisis.

The campaign, which was put together by 11 of AO’s 90-strong creative and multimedia team of copywriters, designers, and film production experts in Bolton, honours people keeping the nation ‘plugged in’ during the pandemic – from NHS workers and local volunteers.

AO’s new ad mainly uses footage shot by its employees at home, and will appear on TV for the first time at 7:15pm tonight, on ITV. A social media campaign to recognise and reward local heroes will accompany the TV coverage.

Last year, founder and CEO John Roberts said AO would no longer be running TV ads because mobile and social media marketing provided a better return on investment and more certainty over viewing figures. With the UK in lockdown and people advised to stay in their homes in an attempt to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus, AO has reversed its previous decision.

“With stores still closed and people relying on their electricals more than ever for boxset bingeing, calming cuppas and feasts from the fridge, customers need to know where they can get what they need,” explained Roberts.

He added that “huge changes” have been made behind the scenes to make sure AO can operate safely in the current environment, and the business has also “worked with manufacturers to make sure there’s plenty available for customers”.

AO is also giving out daily rewards to key workers over the next month, with customers able to nominate deserving people via the retailer’s social media channels using #AOHero and explaining their reasons behind their choices.

Different AO employees will choose a winner every day who’ll receive whatever electricals they might need from TVs and laptops, to coffee machines and appliances.

It has been nearly two years since the retailer’s tagline, “AO Let’s Go”, was last heard on TV, and AO said it was returning to screens now because there are more people watching TV, describing it as a cost-effective way to reach customers.