Debenhams gets a modern facelift in campaign to make shopping 'joyous' again

Debenhams has revealed a new brand identity and ad campaign aimed at reclaiming the joy of shopping, the first work by Mother since winning the retailer's account last year.

Debenhams gets a modern facelift in campaign to make shopping 'joyous' again

Mother Design created a new logo mark and visual identity for the department store, replacing the branding that has been in use since 1999. The new logo is meant to be a more modern and approachable twist on Debenhams’ 200-year heritage. Mother worked with Swiss Typefaces on a custom typeface derived from SangBleu that would show a more vibrant personality.

Richard Cristofoli, the managing director of marketing and beauty, said about the new logo: "We are on a journey to build brand affinity and signify the vast amount of change that is taking place in Debenhams. By physically changing and modernising our logo we aim to make an overt signal to customers that there are reasons to come in store and reappraise our offering." 

Along with the brand refresh, eight ads reflect a more playful tone and illustrate Debenhams’ mission to make shopping sociable and fun. Each execution is tied to the new tagline, "Do a bit of Debenhams," and feature the products in unexpected environments. For example a pair of contrast toe ankle boots appear to be lifted from paint cans with the statement, "Do a bit of best foot forward."

The ads will appear first on social media in still and GIF formats, as well as in brochures in publications such as Sunday Times Style, Grazia, You magazine, Metro and Marie Claire.

Debenhams’ autumn/winter 2018 campaign will launch on 9 September and run over four weeks. New initiatives will also include a digital beauty innovation, the first gym within a store in partnership with Sweat!, and further brand partnerships within shops. 

In November, Mother replaced eight-year incumbent J Walter Thompson London as Debenhams’ creative and design agency. The move came after Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher unveiled a new strategy to become a destination for "social shopping."

Cristofoli said: "When talking about shopping consumers told us of the real joy that they experience when exploring and trying new things in store. Many lamented that shopping had lost its role in our culture and in some ways had become transactional, solitary and trivialised – just a relationship with their post room.

"We wanted to present a rallying cry to consumers to celebrate the joy of shopping and reclaim it as the rich, experiential and joyous experience that brings family and friends together."