Burberry takes an organic approach to social media marketing on Snapchat

Snapchat users were offered a glimpse into the advertising potential of the ephemeral photo-sharing platform as Burberry launched their Spring/Summer 16 collection through their native Snapchat story – becoming the first brand to shoot and publish an advertising campaign live through the app.

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Photographed by Mario Testino, the story started by introducing the ‘The British Cast’ before leading into a behind-the-scenes show which consisted of models clad in the SS16 collection. The main content of the Snaptchat story was made up of a blend of photographs and video content from the photoshoot, concluding with a picture of Testino and Burberry Chief Creative and CEO Christopher Bailey. While the models were dressed in Burberry’s SS16 offerings, the content itself was stylised through Snapchat’s native filters – maintaining a gritty authenticity to the platform whilst supporting the brand’s stylish ideals. Snapchat is unashamedly open about the fact that it isn’t designed to ‘capture the traditional Kodak moment’, something typically at odds with the sleek, ultra-preened brand image associated with Burberry. It was an interesting experiment for the brand – especially utilising a platform whose current fashion offering is limited to Refinery29 and Cosmopolitan magazine – whilst diversifying their social activity from other traditional fashion-heavy social platforms such as Instagram.

“We wanted to play with the traditional format of an advertising campaign to make more immediate and accessible.”

Bailey offered some insight into the decision: “We wanted to play with the traditional format of an advertising campaign to make it much more immediate and accessible just as we did with our runway show last month”.  Creatively this is incredibly exciting as we are totally focused on capturing the energy and the rawness of the shoot and sharing it the moment it happens.”

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Having advertised the campaign in the days running up to the launch (again, through their own Snapchat story), Burberry generated a real buzz for people to return to the app at a designated time and engage with the brand in real time. With 45% of Snapchat users aged between 18-24, it’s a smart (and cheap) way to attract a younger demographic to the brand, embracing the ‘rawness’ of Snapchat and intertwining it with Burberry’s luxury credentials.What is evident is that this is just the beginning of Burberry’s foray into new media channels, especially as the brand seeks to find new ways to continue it’s growth in the midst of China’s economic slowdown. The company recently announced a modest 3% increase in pre-tax profits to £152.9m, with annual sales hovering around the £1.1bn mark.

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