The Tale of Thomas Burberry – A Point of View!


When I saw this gorgeous piece of cinematic story-telling produced by Burberry for its latest commercial… I couldn’t keep myself from going and checking out more about Thomas Burberry! And that my dear, is the whole point of this communication! To bring back exotica… relevance and to make the younger kids sit up, relate and respect!


Contrary to how most high street and even bridge-to-luxury brands use Digital marketing, (i.e. to generate conversions), high-end, large fashion houses have a rather tougher time keeping up with the way digital has been changing things.


Most of them find themselves competing with newer, intimate, individual driven designer brands that most of the internet audience finds easier to relate to! People know these designers… their lives and their stories… all thanks to digital! They connect with the maker and hence, the brand and their products! These people are young and social media savvy and most of them are social media celebrities themselves, apart from just being designers!


The older fashion houses, however, lack that intimacy! The inventors, who were more than mere heroes, are long gone… the companies have become large corporate houses with a mix of creativity and bureaucracy… and young audiences only relate to their brand name and a logo… and nothing else!


And no other large luxury fashion house has been able to crack the digital marketing age better than Burberry!


I distinctly remember that year, when I was still studying my Luxury Management course in Florence, and suddenly one day the Burberry store on Via Tornabuoni had Emma Watson and Rupert Grint plastered on its windows! I was the perfect audience they were looking for and all I could think of was… ‘Desperate’!


From then… To today… ! Now I’m not getting into how Burberry managed to turn it around because every other marketing magazine is anyways talking about it! But from the Burberry booth with google to employing Brooklyn Beckham to photograph the ad campaign of their fragrance range… The brand sure knows how to innovate on digital!


And this new film… simply hits it home! The one thing that I found missing all this while was a connect to the brand’s past! As a consumer… and as a marketer, I’ve always felt that they’ve done amazingly well to build a youth connect, but where’s the connect with history which forms the basis of it all! And here we have it!


Intense, riveting and breath-taking…   if this was the trailer of a movie… that’s one movie I’d be dying to watch right now! It so beautifully brings alive Thomas Burberry, his life… his passion, his ambition, innovation and his struggles! A story of love, betrayal, war and passion… a story perfect to remind you of what goes into the making of one of the finest fashion houses of all time!


It’s one of the best pieces of communication I’ve seen by any fashion brand because it instantly makes you admire, respect and relate to that person who’s long gone… but whose legacy you still have access to! It enables the younger audience who have long forgotten who Thomas Burberry was… to be able to connect with him once more, like they connect with the younger, ‘real’ designers!


Every single one of these iconic fashion houses, have such interesting and mind boggling stories of passion, determination and courage at the crux of them… and yet, the only story most young kids possibly know of, is Coco Chanel!


According to me, bringing back heritage of a brand and getting people to once again, connect with that… is what will bring back the cool quotient for all these brands – Gucci, Ferragamo, Christian Dior! What’s cool is not just the new innovation in design and the new trends they come up with, what’s really cool is their history!


I’m sure the sensationalism of the ‘house of Gucci’ or a glimpse of old Hollywood through Ferragamo’s eyes… is not something anyone wouldn’t wanna watch it! And digital media allows for such amazing brand storytelling, in less than 3mins and in a budget that is a fraction of what a feature film would cost!


Hats off to Burberry for this lovely storytelling that brings to life a very sexy version of Thomas Burberry, as opposed to the grandpa-like image we’re usually used to seeing!

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About Me

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry.

She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.