Harvey Nichols abandons festive spirit in favour of ‘selfish giving’

Harvey Nichols is breaking away from the Christmas ad mould with a marketing campaign that encourages people to abandon festive giving and spend less on their friends and family in order to treat themselves.

The online film shows customers giving their loved ones gifts such as ‘100 per cent wood toothpicks’ and ‘water resistant sink plugs’. They are then pictured with their gifts to themselves, including a Givenchy tote bag and Louboutin leather pumps.

The luxury department store has created a ‘Sorry, I Spent It On Myself’ gift collection to coincide with the marketing push that will be available to buy both online and in store. It is also encouraging customers to tweet a picture of their desired Christmas present with the hashtag #SpentItOnMyself.

The campaign, created by agency Adam & Eve/DDB is in marked contrast to other Christmas ads, which all look to convey the Christmas spirit. John Lewis, also by the agency, is using an animated bear and hare to spread its message of giving the perfect gift, while Marks & Spencer has launched a celebrity-filled fairytale campaign and Sainsbury’s is promoting a film showing real people’s Christmas celebrations.

This is not the first time Harvey Nichols has launched a tongue-in-cheek Christmas campaign. Last year’s effort showed women shooting lasers out of their eyes after discovering they had turned up at a party wearing the same dress as someone else.

Julia Bowe, marketing director at Harvey Nichols, says: “At this time of year it can be all too easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving. We hope that our new ‘Sorry, I Spent It On Myself’ gift collection will provide our customers with low-cost gifting options for others that will allow them to spoil themselves that little bit more this Christmas.”

Take a look at our round-up of all the Christmas ads.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here