Are You Suffering From 'Gift Face'? Harvey Nichols Wants to Help

Retailer's Christmas Ad Is All About Receiving Terrible Gifts

Published On
Nov 09, 2015

Editor's Pick

What to do when you receive a terrible Christmas gift? It's the question several U.K. retailers seem to be asking this season. In Currys PC World's campaign, Jeff Goldblum handed out advice to disappointed recipients, and now Harvey Nichols is also warning of the dangers of "Gift Face" -- or, as agency Adam & Eve/DDB puts it, "the contortion of one's face when feigning excitement, happiness or gratitude for a terrible, terrible Christmas gift."

In this ad, directed by Blink's Tim Bullock, a woman makes increasingly pained grimaces as she receives gifts such as towels, a dictionary and a hand-knitted sweater. It's part of an integrated campaign: Harvey Nichols is also using social channels to help customers recognize the tell-tale signs of #Gift Face, and suggesting gifting options to help avoid it this Christmas. Customers are encouraged to show support by using the grimacing emoji as their very own version of #Gift Face.

While in any normal year this might have been a funny ad, U.K. media such as the Evening Standard have been quick to point out the similarities between this campaign and Currys' and Lidl's efforts (the latter's School of Christmas spot included a lesson on how to react when receiving crappy gifts). Perhaps #AdFace will be trending next year at the Cannes Lions festival?