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  • Harvey Nichols Christmas campaign reveals the great British public are a nation of fakers, that will go to any length to avoid hurting the feelings of their loved ones at Christmas.
  • 72% of adults admit to pulling #GiftFace when they receive an unwanted present.
  • 63% will wear or use their unwanted gift to protect the feelings of a loved one.
  • A mere 27% would admit to not liking the gift so their loved one could exchange it.


NOVEMBER 9 2015: Christmas is a time of giving, or so the tradition goes, but Harvey Nichols believes there is a lot to be said about receiving too. The luxury retailer famed for it’s distinctive and award-winning Christmas campaigns, that are honest, unique and pioneering in the competitive seasonal advertising landscape, unveils yet another tongue-in-cheek campaign this Christmas, titled Avoid #GiftFace.

We’ve all been there, opening a Christmas gift that is... not quite what you had in mind, a gift that makes you question if the giver even knows you at all or a gift that leaves you with no other option than to pull #GiftFace. In case you’re oblivious to this expression, it’s the contortion of one’s face when feigning excitement, happiness or gratitude for a Christmas gift that was misjudged.
Above: Lucy unwraps an 80% cotton towel set that her loving parents thoughtful bought her
The campaign follows a fearlessly stylish young woman dressed in a Christopher Kane cosy knit and Le Kilt skirt, embellished with Marni and Joomi Lin jewellery and Gianvito Rossi shoes, as she unwraps a series of gifts that have just missed the mark, leaving her little choice than to pull #GiftFace. Lucy is not alone, with 72% of UK adults admitting to having pulled #GiftFace to save the feelings of a loved one.
Above: Lucy twirls around in a knitted jumper lovingly handmade by her granny

As a discerning nation, Dr Andy Cope, PhD Happiness explains human beings are wired to pick up on other people’s emotions with a built in neural Wi-Fi;

“On a day of happiness the last thing any of us wants to do is spread misery. So we open the present and hold up THAT jumper, wide-eyed in amazement and a smile fixed on our face. #GiftFace eases your pain and, best of all, it makes Aunt Edna’s day. So folks, it’s official, sometimes it’s OK to fake it.”

And it doesn't end there. 63% of adults admit to wearing or using an unwanted gift after Christmas to keep up the pretence. We all have that draw or cupboard full of unwanted gifts, that never sees the light of day unless Grandma is popping over for a Christmas tipple.

Above: Lucy hugs her boyfriend having wished she never said, “I would like to read more” after being
“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&eveDDB to create yet another compelling and comical campaign that we know the British public can relate to. We’ve all been there! So this season shop with us for guaranteed satisfaction – Avoid #GiftFace, Give Harvey Nichols.”
Shadi Halliwell, Group Creative & Marketing Director of Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols urges the nation to avoid the awkwardness of giving a loved one #GiftFace on Christmas day by shopping the Christmas spoils in-store and online to find that genuine jaw dropper, the certified dimple denter and the bonafied breath taker.
Above: Lucy massages her face having strained her facial muscles having pulled #GiftFace
Created in collaboration with adam&eveDDB, the campaign launches on Monday 9 November 2015 and will appear in print, via instore activation and out of home media. An accompanying digital campaign of both the advertisement and the viral will feature on the website where it will be shareable through social media.