Burberry’s live Snapchat campaign pushes boundaries, but polished view leaves something to be desired

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Burberry took to Snapchat once again yesterday – this time to reveal its spring/summer 2016 ad campaign being shot by Mario Testino, live as it took place in London.

As per the usual Snapchat brief, those images will live on the platform for 24-hours only. The campaign captures models Hayett Belarbi McCarthy, Misha Hart, Ruth Bell, May Bell, Eliza Fairbanks, Liam Gardner and Louie Johnson.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer at Burberry, said: “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.”

James Kirkham, global head of social and mobile at ad agency Leo Burnett, writing on behalf of Marketing Magazine, highlighted numerous factors set to make this campaign superb – that it proves social media can be premium, that it plays on the desire for urgency from this audience, and that it successfully puts mobile first.

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“The transient nature of the platform means you have to be in it to win it. Miss it, miss out. FOMO is rife, and exclusive Testino shot fashion ranges that last 24 hours are as good a reason as any to be there in the right place at the right time,” he writes.

But while all of that is true, the result left me wishing for a little bit more. Snapchat is the opportunity to truly go behind-the-scenes, offer up a raw view of life behind a brand, and Burberry eschews that altogether by opting for this really polished persona. That worked in its storytelling for fashion week, but it leaves a little to be desired with an ad campaign that ultimately offers not much more than flicking through a look book (albeit an early view of it).

There are no shots of the shoot actually taking place (the image shown above was not on Snapchat); just the finished product. And even then, we’re talking largely stills, alongside a handful of videos that don’t offer any sound. It’s beautifully done, of course, but for the eager Snapchat audience, it feels as though an opportunity has been missed to capture that little bit more.

In fact the most authentic part of it, is the sincere looks of glee shown on the faces of Testino and Bailey in the shot below, taken together at the end. If only we could hear from them about what they’re creating. Kudos to Burberry for breaking the mould once again, but a more candid view is what will have made it a true winner for the season ahead.

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