Every year British luxury fashion retailer Burberry impresses us with its creative fashion campaigns and lookbooks, and this year the brand has pushed the boundaries even further and created something extra special for their 2016 Christmas campaign.
It's a three-minute video in celebration of Burberry's 160th anniversary called The Tale of Thomas Burberry, and it tells the story of the man who founded the brand in 1856 and opened its first store on Haymarket in 1891. And this should go without saying, but there's a lot to love about it.
First of all, it's impossible not to take note of the star-studded cast in Burberry's campaign. The lead role of Thomas Burberry is played by Domhnall Gleeson; Sienna Miller stars as his fictional first love; Dominic West is the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (who wore Burberry gabardine garments for three Antarctic expeditions); and Lily James stars as a fictional character based on adventurer Betty Kirby-Green, who flew from England to Cape Town in 1937 dressed in Burberry.
Written by Matt Charman, The Tale of Thomas Burberry is helmed by director Asif Kapadia, who won an Oscar for the documentary Amy earlier this year.
While Burberry prides itself on being a luxury fashion brand, this campaign is about so much more. Instead of just having a series of beautiful models sporting the latest collections, the brand appeals to deeper emotions by creating an inspiring storyline that sends the message that we should all dare to be different, that it's OK to be so and that following your dreams is vital to your happiness. It creates this message by taking various events from the company's long history and showing how they shaped the values that they hold today.
The story doesn't just show the highs of Thomas Burberry's life, but also the lows, and this juxtaposition makes the story even more relatable as it proves that sometimes it can take hearing the word "no" many times — as we see with Burberry's boss shutting his creation of gabardine, the weatherproof fabric that is still used in all of Burberry's trench coats — before you can succeed.
While we understand that Burberry's Christmas campaign is, of course, designed to sell their gear, it has taken a different approach from previous years, and this one feels a lot less like a marketing scheme to empty our pockets and more like a piece of art for us to appreciate. This helps to create an emotional bond with the consumer — and we like the subtlety.
And perhaps one of the most beautiful things about the film is its celebration of British heritage — need we say more?
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