Burberry has taken the unusual step of launching a film trailer for its marquee Christmas ad.
The three-minute film, which is deliberately made to feel like an actual movie trailer and subtly features items from its Winter collection, is inspired by the life of founder Thomas Burberry.
Directed by Academy winning director Asif Kapadia, the film, which stars actors including Sienna Miller, Domhnall Gleeson as Thomas Burberry and The Wire star Dominic West, reimagines key events that have shaped the luxury fashion brand’s history.
These include the brand outfitting the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton, as well as its sponsorship of aviation legend Betty Kirby Green for her record-breaking flight from London to Cape Town.
However a healthy dose of creative license also means Green (who is named Betty Dawson in the film and played by Lily James) and Thomas Burberry embark on a fictional, and rather glamorous looking, affair.
Launching today (1 November) across print, digital, social, and out-of-home, the film’s 1800s setting and aesthetics will also be replicated in store in the build-up to Christmas. There will be a particular push on cinema advertising, which best suits the ad’s theatrical format.
A move away from product-led advertising
The ad is designed to celebrate both Christmas and the brand’s 160th anniversary. The aim is show how the Burberry brand stands for exploration and innovation across society, not just within the fashion world. And while its products do feature, they take a back seat to the story of Thomas Burberry.
Burberry will be hoping the ad can provide a welcome sales boost, with its pre-tax profits down 10% to £415.6m for the year to 31 March.
The Christmas ad is in line with a pledge made by Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey back in May. He said at the time: “We want to make people fall in love with our products just as much as the brand in our ad campaigns.”