Hit or Miss? Harvey Nichols celebrates selfishness at Christmas

Upmarket department store Harvey Nichols this week embarked on a PR push for its Christmas ad campaign and ironic range of gifts.

Ironic gifts: The Harvey Nichols Christmas Lunch in a Tin
Ironic gifts: The Harvey Nichols Christmas Lunch in a Tin

The ‘Sorry, I Spent It On Myself’ campaign shows women giving cheap presents to their loved ones, having splashed out on dresses and handbags.

The store is selling a special range of products including a sink plug, priced £1.13, and a Christmas lunch in a tin, priced £1.89.

How I see it

Miki Haines-Sanger, founder, Golden Goose PR

What a brilliant idea. It’s so refreshing to see a completely original Christmas campaign and one that is so right for Harvey Nichols, a brand that is proud to be exclusive.

It’s perfectly timed, launching purely online after the John Lewis and M&S Christmas campaign hype, but is so strikingly different.

The suggestion that we buy our loved ones bags of gravel so we can splash out on designer gifts for ourselves has occurred to many of us but to see it so cleverly executed, not only in a social media and PR campaign, but with a genuine product that the store has created – and most likely mailed to journalists – makes this even funnier.

I won't be wrapping up a plug for my husband and children this Christmas, but do I want that Lanvin dress? Of course I do. The ad reminds everyone that Harvey Nicks is the place to go for a luxury gift, and an affirmation of the store’s brand personality: very British, irreverent and witty – which is why it’s trending so well on Twitter.

All of this made without spending £7m. I wish I’d thought of it myself.

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