Winter warmer: Stephen Fry recites 'Odes to AGA' in nostalgia-laden campaign

LONDON - It may be the ultimate upper middle-class accessory, but iconic appliance brand AGA is hoping thousands of consumers in the UK are ready to reconnect with their childhood - or an idealised version of childhood - by buying one of the pricey cookers.

The print, radio, in-store and PR campaign, by Ogilvy Advertising, will run in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Ads will promote AGAs as the perfect complement to chilly British winter evenings. As part of the campaign, AGA has created a dedicated website.

Advertising and Twitter favourite Stephen Fry, fresh from lending his talents to ads for insurance brand Direct Line and tea specialist Twinings, provides the plummy voiceover for its radio ads, which feature a number of 'Odes to AGA'.

Quotes from the radio ads include, 'Generations eagerly gathering; with Christmas quietly calling; 'tis the season of AGA-installing,' and, 'When you choose an AGA, you're not buying a cooker - you are deciding how your children will remember growing up.'

The campaign marks a change in strategy for AGA, which last repositioned in early 2008, when it hired consultancy Cogent Elliott to develop its 'Love Aga' brand concept. It also launched a social networking site, This Is My AGA, to try to develop the sense of community among AGA owners.

Yet Jim Prior, managing director at branding agency The Partners, does not believe the campaign is convincing enough to get consumers to shell out thousands on a new cooker.

'It's all very soothing and lovely, albeit in a somewhat predictable, John Lewis kind of a way, that suits the brand very well,' he says. 'But I must admit to being at a bit of a loss to understand what it is hoping to achieve here.

'I've always imagined AGA buyers to have their minds made up closer to the womb than the showroom, so the notion that this will convince anyone to buy one in time for Christmas feels hopelessly unrealistic to me,' he adds.



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