Selfridges, the iconic department store in the U.K. is going quiet for January and February.
The store has stripped the logos off its products and a number of its big brands as part of an anti-brand campaign aimed at offering consumers respite from the relentlessness of marketing messages.
In its flagship store in Oxford Street there is even a quiet room, where world weary shoppers can take some time out and just chill, in silence.
Some of the brands participating in the anti-brand campaign include Heinz ketchup and baked beans, Marmite, Clinique moisturising lotion, Creme de La Mer moisturising cream, Beats by Dre heaphones and Levis 501 jeans.
Yet, while all these products will be de-branded, as they are iconic in their own right, they will still be instantly recognisable by their packaging and shape. It would be more difficult, say, for fluffy bath towels to be de-branded successfully.
The idea actually has a long history with the store. When the store opened in 1909, its founder Harry Gordon Selfridge created a Silence Room. He created it so shoppers could “retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy”.
Bricks and mortar stores in Australia are screaming for attention and blaming online shopping for their downturn in profits. Yet, here we have a major department store trying to quiten things down (the irony of the store seeking PR about it is not lost of me) and brands prepared to de-brand for attention.
Is this the start of a new trend – de-branding for attention?