Harvey Nichols is the latest brand to feminise its eponymous name in a stunt to promote its September campaign, ‘Let’s Hear it for the Girls’.
The work is the first for Harvey Nichols from TBWA.
The department store will be known as Holly Nichols for the month of September. It has replaced the ‘Harvey’ of its illuminated store sign with the new moniker, changed the URL of its website, edited its social media presence and produced rebranded shopping bags, signage and in-store branding.
Reminiscent of Johnnie Walker’s switch to Jane Walker, the change comes as part of a month-long push aims to highlight the company’s commitment to championing female equality.
‘Let’s Hear it for the Girls’ also celebrates the refurbishment of its flagship store in London’s Knightbridge, which now features four floors dedicated to women’s apparel.
Further activity planned includes trunk shows, launches, brand parties and ‘inspirational talks from admirable women’. The pavement outside the flagship has been stamped with quotes from female leaders such as Hillary Clinton, Coco Chanel and Emmeline Pankhurst.
A number of brands have recently come under fire for rebranding to establish feminist values. The Jane Walker experiment was labelled as a patronising exercise in marketing by some, while Pepsi's recent proposal of ‘Lady Doritos’ led to a furious Twitterstorm.
Harvey Nichols, however, stated it has a long history of supporting women and currently has seven women seated on its board.
"We are incredibly excited to unveil our Holly Nichols campaign – a month of events celebrating women, those who have inspired us in the past, and those that continue to do so today,” said Deb Bee, group marketing and creative director Harvey Nichols.
She added that the refurb has created “a shopping experience for our female customers like no other”.
Bee joined the business in March this year and famously fired its long-term creative agency, Adam&Eve/DDB, just nine days into the job. The account was quickly handed to TBWA.
The marketer explained that while Adam&Eve/DDB had produced award-winning work, she was looking for “an alternative to brand campaigns, for a more targeted approach”.
The company posted a £6.7m loss in December last year.