Monday, November 9, 2009

The Art of the Trench

As an advertising intern for Louis Vuitton, I constantly recognize the relevance to and significance of print advertising for the luxury fashion sector. Nonetheless, I am always intrigued by the newer, alternative marketing strategies presented by members of this specific industry.

There's been a lot of press coverage (every publication from NY Times, which focuses heavily on current Burberry financials if you're interested, to Wallpaper Magazine to personal blog networks) about the new online campaign Burberry launched today. Art of the Trench which includes the microsite and social networking applications like Facebook connect focuses on Burberry's origins and ultimately differentiating product (the Trench).

Visitors are greeted by an artfully arranged collection of images of people in Burberry trench coats which they can then filter through depending on their viewing preferences (such as Popularity, Gender, Styling, Trench Colour, Weather, etc). The first of the series was photographed by Scott Schuman, aka the Sartorialist.

But the marketing experience isn't purely about looking. You're welcome to submit your own photo, comment on other photos and connect with Facebook. This reflects a growing trend towards digital social engagement among larger brands and companies. Blackbook Magazine actually acknowledged the "limiting" nature of it, bordering criticism. While featured product and user engagement could be increased, I think Burberry's focus on its key differentiating product was a wise choice.

The microsite also includes a thorough and informative section on the History of the Trench, complete with vintage Burberry ads, educating consumers about the timelessness of the product. This could not have been provided so well through any other medium besides online. Not only digital but allow one more visual flexibility at a lower cost, but it also provides greater ease of use and more accessibility/reach.

In addition to being both beautiful and educational, the overall campaign seems to execute a well orchestrated balance between luxury aspiration and inclusiveness.

The campaign is accompanied by a YouTube video spot:

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