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

Harvey Nichols' Christmas ad 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 coined as "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 was copywritten by Jo Cresswell and art directed by Sian Coole at Adam & Eve/DDB. It is part of an integrated campaign that includes print, in-store activation and digital.

The luxury retailer is also 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.

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

The ad was directed by Tim Bullock through Blink, while ZenithOptimedia handled the media planning.

Shadi Halliwell, the group creative and marketing director of Harvey Nichols, said: "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!"