Burberry’s brief to Made by Many was simple: “do something spectacular with social”. Sixteen weeks later we launched the luxury sector’s first truly native digital experience, Art of the Trench. By any and all metrics it had exceptional impact and engaged a new generation of consumers.
The 2009 campaign was so successful that, seven years later, http://artofthetrench.burberry.com/ remains the beating heart of Burberry’s digital customer experience at burberry.com, facebook, instagram, snapchat, twitter and pinterest.
The campaign kickstarted the brand’s transformation to a digital-first marketing and retail organisation. Working to a concept created by Made by Many and Burberry’s in-house digital marketing team, artofthetrench was conceived as “a living document of the trench coat and the people who wear it”; it has been used as a case study throughout the retail industry, not least because of its impact on trench coat sales, which grew by 85% in the year following its release.
The popularity of the campaign lay in the direct connection it made between Burberry fans and the brand’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey. Tapping into existing behaviour we had observed in social media, we made a big ask of Burberry fans: to be styled and photographed on the street in trench coats and to submit their images for personal consideration by Bailey.
The reward was fame and being part of the brand: the response was magnificent. Thousands submitted their photographs for publication alongside images by fashion blogger Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) and other professional photographers. The campaign brought to life the iconic trench coat and the infinite ways to wear it; it created a lasting platform that Burberry has used to become a pathfinder digital luxury brand.
Digital Training Academy
By all metrics, quantitative and qualitative, the campaign was a success… Burberry has executed many other digital innovations, setting the bar for online customer engagement. Each of these initiatives has built on the digital strategy Burberry kicked off with the Art of the Trench.