It’s an interesting route to go down but this didn’t put off Harvey Nichols in their latest controversial advert.
You might remember their much ‘discussed’ christmas 2011 campaign that insinuated Harvey Nichols can turn a walk of shame into a stride of pride?
Well this one is reaches whole new level:
The thing with this latest campaign is it’s very easy to criticise. I mean, it’s a relatively expensive shop, with a high end target market to match, showing all their clothes soiled. It’s not a great start.
But criticising adverts doesn’t particularly interest me, it’s an extremely easy thing to do with the amount of awful bingo and PPI claims adverts around at the minute. What interests me is why?
Why did they risk this pretty predictable backlash?
Was it simply a case of running too fast, and too far, with an idea? The creative process is clear, albeit misjudged – we need a way to show excitement, what’s a way of doing that easily and cleverly? so excited you… pee yourself! Perfect! Was it a case of people being too close to the idea to step back and say ‘hang on, it’s a nice idea but completely wrong for the market?’
Or was this all a bit more intentional? Are they trying to adjust their target market for example? An advert with fairly strong connotations of incontinence is surely a way of losing a lot of their slightly senior shoppers’ support? Is this a way of trying to bring Harvey Nichols to the youth that appreciate a bit of toilet humour, don’t mind trying on clothes people may have wet themselves in and are accustomed to trawling through racks of dishevelled clothes in the hope of saving a fiver?
I’m not sure, but I think exploring an unsuccessful campaign in this way is a lot more useful than launching an outright criticism of it.