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Photo shoot: Harvey Nichols Summer Sale ads

June 12, 2012

Notice anything.. amiss? Harvey Nichols thinks their summer sale is so exciting, you might just pee your pants

The shot: American retailer Harvey Nichols’ summer sale ads

The models: Attractive people who have peed their pants

The garb: Harvey Nichols’ threads: a perfectly fitting blue three-piece suit and black bustier with orange high-waisted trouser

The photographer: TBD

The final word: Ranging from public shock to mild amusement, the reactions to the Harvey Nichols summer sale advertisements certainly have brought in attention. Is bad publicity good publicity? Well, it’s certainly getting the brand mentioned across multiple media, including this one, so it’s working.

In terms of the pee stains and the language accompanying the ad, “Try to contain your excitement”, the folks in he HN head office said that they were citing the light humour and sentiment shared in Pretty Woman – remember Julia Roberts’ character’s exclamation of this very line? I think that she said it when Richard Gere suggested either going shopping or attending the opera.

Anyway, back to the concept: these models didn’t make it to the loo, but do they look excited? do they look rushed or rushing to buy a medium-sized polo shirt? This is what makes really no sense to me. For two people who can’t contain their excitement, they’re looking more angry in the woman’s case (“What?! No more size 2 pants!? But look at this! Now what am I gonna do?”) and him, bored like a window mannequin (“I’ll just stand like so and open my legs a little- is this the shot you want for your pee ad?”).

We’re done.

Image courtesy of Harvey Nichols.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2012 11:12 am

    there’s been quite a bit of controversy over these ads. i actually find them pretty silly. i think the non-excited look is maybe trying to be like “what? what pee? nothing happened, fresh to death” kinda thing. or high contrast excitement/non excitement. not sure. pretty strange though. solid read! thanks x

    • June 20, 2012 12:06 pm

      Thanks for your comment- and I appreciate your reflection on my reading of the models’ expression. Yeah I can see that they are meant to not have noticed that they have peed their pants- but they look so severe!

      I actually don’t really mind the ads, I find them silly too. Happy to share some thoughts on this with you!
      -J :)

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