Eschewing traditional TV and press executions in favour of a sustained campaign of strategic activations designed to increase footfall, the new positioning zeroes in on fashion’s ability to empower women through expressing individuality and enabling possibilities.
After kicking off in early September with a high-profile month long rebrand from Harvey Nichols to Holly Nichols, the campaign’s second installment – Broken Windows– took place at 9am on 13 September, the eve of London Fashion Week, and invites women’s rights champions to literally smash Harvey Nichols’ Knightsbridge windows.
Because 2018 is the centenary of women securing the right to vote, the London Mayor and British Fashion Council asked Harvey Nichols to participate in a year long equality campaign called #BehindEveryGreatCity. After identifying the brand’s historical link to the to suffragette movement (in 1912, suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and her 150-strong cohort smashed shop windows across London’s West End, including eight belonging to Harvey Nichols), TBWA developed the idea of recreating this moment a century later as a reminder that women still have to fight for their rights.
The window smashing will be led by Pankhurst’s great granddaughter and women’s rights activist, Dr Helen Pankhurst. Joining Dr Pankhurst will be fellow gender equality champions such as Chidera Eggerue, Author and award winning Blogger; and driver, Jamie Chadwick youngest winner of British GT Championship. The smashed windows will be accessorised with typography such as Emmeline Pankhurst’s famous “Deeds not words” quote. Activity will be amplified through national press, influencers and a shareable film.
The TBWA-devised female empowerment strategy launched with the Holly Nichols rebrand in early September when the new illuminated sign was unveiled at the Knightsbridge store. The Holly initiative also saw the introduction of rebranded social channels, shopping bags, signage and other collateral across all stores, plus the launch of hollynichols.com. The activation was heightened through pavement art around the Knightsbridge store featuring quotes about women’s rights.
September’s activity will conclude with an inspirational talk given by Dr Helen Pankhurst to loyal customers and leading women in the equality movement. Full details are yet to be revealed.
Deborah Bee, Harvey Nichols group marketing and creative director, said: “Harvey Nichols has a long history of supporting women in the workplace. The company was led by a woman – Anne Harvey – during the 1850s and continues to champion gender equality throughout the business. It’s why seven out of nine board members are women. Coupling our unprecedented four floors of women’s fashion with this landmark suffrage centenary, TBWA’s idea of championing female empowerment is a fun but strategic concept that will drive significant awareness around our brand principles as well as the extensive first floor refurbishment.”
TBWA\London’s CEO, Sara Tate, added: “This is a bold new direction for Harvey Nichols and we’re proud to be on this journey with them. A manifesto of supporting women, alongside a willingness to look beyond the usual executions, has created a great canvas to deliver activities that drive awareness around the brand’s personality and in-store developments to ultimately increase footfall.”