Shoppers revel in what awesome gift givers they are in Debenhams' holiday ads

Spots by Mother are first major campaign for struggling UK department store

Published On
Nov 07, 2018

Editor's Pick

U.K. department store chain Debenhams may be struggling with a tough retail climate--it recently announced an almost 500 million pound annual loss and plans to close 50 stores in the next few years---but it's still gone ahead with a TV campaign this Christmas.

In its first major campaign by Mother, which was appointed to revamp the brand late last year, the retailer focuses on the joy of discovering you've found the perfect gift for someone else. A series of spots details several different scenarios. In one, for example, a woman is about to hand over her gift to date. She looks on his laptop for music and finds photos of him fishing and camping, which is perfect for what she's already bought him: a bobble hat, sweater and water bottle. 

In another, a man celebrates his dinosaur-themed present for his niece when he notices a bunch dinosaur drawings and toys all over the kitchen. Another gift giver realizes she's hit the jackpot with a red leather gift when she clocks her friends gloves, bag and nails, while a party guest rejoices when she sees her host's spa-themed bathroom, knowing she's bought her posh toiletries and slippers. 

All the spots, directed by Ric Cantor of Hungry Man, feature the music track "Star" by Kiki Dee, which kicks in just as the gift-givers realize their triumph, their faces contorting with joy in over-the-top fashion. They end with the words "Do a bit of you know you did good. Do a bit of Debenhams" (voiced by "Dr. Who" and "Victoria" actor Jenna Coleman).

Ana Balarin, partner at Mother, says: "Breaking with what has become Christmas advertising convention with this campaign, we wanted to shift the attention from the gift receiver to the person buying it, and really focus on that ‘nailed it’ moment, which every shopping fan will identify with." Debenhams' wider campaign includes gift guides with over 1,000 gift ideas and special areas in stores featuring themed gift collections. 




Nov 07, 2018
Agency :
Client :
Production Company :
Hungry Man
Director :
Ric Cantor
Production Company Producer :
George Saunders
Production Company Assistant :
Hannah Stone
Editor :
Billy Mead
Edit House :
Ten Three
Post House :
Electric Theatre Collective
Sound House :
Sound Engineer :
Sam Robson
Music Supervisor :
John Connon
Music Supervisor :
Mr Pape

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