Multichannel retailer Argos has linked up with broadcaster ITV to run a Christmas campaign which it describes as a marketing first.

Argos is asking consumers to suggest gift ideas for Father Christmas from its Christmas gift guide, using the hashtag #giftforsanta.

The best ideas will be read out live on air by the advertising characters the Argos ‘alien mum and dad’, Bill Nighy and Claire Skinner, in breaks during high-profile shows including the X Factor and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. All ideas will also be retweeted from the @ArgosAliens Twitter account.

The campaign will launch this Wednesday during The Only Way is Essex, and has been created by CHI&Partners, Mindshare and The Social Practice.

Argos head of brand marketing Carl Nield said: “This marks yet another big and exciting move for our brand as we continue to experiment digitally and further our reach online.

“We are very proud to pioneer this relationship between traditional broadcast and digital platforms with our partner agencies.

“Moreover this is a totally fresh way for people to get into the seasonal spirit and enjoy some of the nation’s favourite programmes in partnership with the brands they love.”

Client director at Mindshare Simon Blackburn said: “We challenged ourselves to identify an activation idea that would truly stand Argos apart from the competition.

“We worked closely with ITV to access high profile talent, secure competition prizes themed to the four flagship shows and develop a Twitter entry mechanic that enables winners to be announced live on air.”