Harvey Nichols aims to stamp out 'gift face' with Christmas campaign

Holiday push from UK retailer out of Adam & Eve/DDB offers alternative to feigned gratitude

LONDON — Harvey Nichols' Christmas campaign this year explains how to avoid the ordeal of having to pretend you like an unwanted gift — or having to put on a grimace they have dubbed "gift face."

Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the 60-second spot features a young woman desperately trying to maintain her "gift face" – a forced expression of happiness – as she opens a series of presents from her family. The film ends with the tagline "Avoid #GiftFace. Give Harvey Nichols."

The online ad is part of an integrated campaign that includes print, in-store activation and digital. The retailer is using its social media channels to suggest gifting options for customers, so as to avoid "gift face," as well as showing their support by using a grimacing emoji.

"Brace yourself Oxford English Dictionary: Harvey Nichols is updating the lexicon," said Ben Tollett, an executive creative director at Adam & Eve/DDB. "We hope #GiftFace will become as much a part of people's Christmas vocabulary as, ‘I'm stuffed’ and ‘Does anyone have any batteries?’"

According to Shadi Halliwell, group creative and marketing director of Harvey Nichols, "This year we wanted to help people avoid #GiftFace and ensure our customers give their special somebody a gift that truly hits the mark.

"We worked closely with Adam & Eve/DDB to create yet another compelling and comical campaign that we know the British public can relate to. We’ve all been there!"

The creative team included copywriter Jo Cresswell and art director Sian Coole at Adam & Eve/DDB. Tim Bullock directed through Blink. ZenithOptimedia handled the media planning.

This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

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