Cannes Lions case study: Harvey Nichols wins Grand Prix for ‘Shoplifters’ video

Digital marketing industry case study library

UK department store Harvey Nichols scooped the Cannes Lions Grand Prix in the film category, with a funny and engaging social campaign that promoted its loyalty app showing real footage of shoplifters (with cartoon faces to protect their identity).


Case study summary

• Department store uses shocking real-life footage of shoplifters to promote its loyalty app

• Tagline “Love freebies? Get them legally” linked to hashtag #lovefreebies

• Ad beat the other 2,800 entries in the film category to win Cannes Lions Grand Prix award.

The challenge

Upmarket UK department store Harvey Nichols wanted a novel way to advertise the benefits of its loyalty app.


The solution

The film by adam&eve DDB starts with real security camera footage of shoplifters pinching clothes, jewellery and perfume from Harvey Nichols’ flagship store in Knightsbridge, London. Following with footage of them being chased and caught, the video ends with the tagline “Love freebies? Get them legally” to promote the retailer’s Rewards App.

Shadi Halliwell, Harvey Nichols’ group creative and marketing director, said: "We wanted to create a campaign which plays on the universal truth that everybody loves a freebie. By downloading ‘Rewards by Harvey Nichols’, our customers are sure to be spoilt, the legal way, with fabulously stylish treats."

Ben Tollett, an executive creative director at Adam & Eve/DDB, added: "This campaign is designed to send a clear warning to the nation's shoplifters. The only free thing they'll get when they steal from Harvey Nichols is a day trip to the local police station."

The work was written by Ben Stilitz and Colin Booth. The Layzell Brothers, at Blink, added the cartoon faces to the CCTV footage and Marcelo Krasilcic shot the print campaign.


The results

The ad beat the other 2,800 entries in the film category and won the Grand Prix award. It is “just a perfectly executed film,” said Joe Alexander, jury president of the Film category and chief operating officer at The Martin Agency.

“The music, the animation, the edit, the copy – flawless,” he said in an email. “And it’s the kind of film that works just as well in paid media as unpaid, a quality the best films today must have.”

Copyright ©2000-2020 Digital Strategy Consulting Limited | All rights reserved | This material is for your personal use only | Using this site constitutes acceptance of our user agreement and privacy policy