Harvey Nichols, a luxury department store in the UK, is known for its up and coming international clothing brands, gorgeous accessories and unique food market. They target upper-class British locals and have a pretty young and funky clientele. That being said, they tried to stay hip and humorous by producing a controversial ad for their upcoming sale. The ad features models wearing wet pants with the slogan, “Try to Contain Your Excitement” insinuating that the sale is so exciting, people will literally wet themselves. While they are trying to come off as clever and funny, it just seems trashy. This is a luxury department store after all. People were not too pleased with the ad, but instead of regretting their decision, Julia Bowe, Harvey Nichols’ Group Press and Marketing Director, made a public statement:
“In humorous reaction to the (often-irrational) excitement sale time engenders, we have developed this campaign to capture this near-fanatical spirit, because let’s face it, the thought of picking up brands at up to 70% off is enough to excite and overwhelm even the most composed shopper in us all.”
What do you think? Is this an appropriate advertisement trying to be light-hearted, or is it just too vulgar and unnecessary considering the upscale consumers they’re targeting?