The mavens of digital marketing in retail, Burberry, led by the visionary CEO Angela Ahrendts Burberry Kiss - DIgital Kiss Missiveand Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, have struck again.  Partnering with Google, the Burberry Kisses initiative (launched in June 2013) shows just how creative and emotional one can be with digital.  {Click to tweet}

Digital kiss missive

Hooking up with Google’s Art, Copy & Code initiative, the Burberry Kiss enables a person, using his/her mobile (or web) camera, to upload and send an individualized kiss, taking one’s own lips to seal the digital kiss missive.  The link with Burberry’s is fine: to celebrate their make-up line, you get to choose one of 5 shades for your Burberry Kiss.  For the guys, don’t worry, you can go with black & white!  Once you send the message, you can see its path through a digital journey.  The recipient gets the same upon opening.  Of course, there is lots of social functionality (Facebook, Twitter and, in priority… Google+) for those wishing to extend the recipient base!

Kiss recognition

Burberry Kiss seal

To do this, Burberry Kisses have developed a so-called kiss recognition technology.  The application, accompanied by a jolly music (that could have possibly been a little longer and diverse), comes with kissing instructions or tips.  Not that you need to pucker directly up onto the computer screen, but some of my own attempts were downright hilarious.  I managed to get geisha girl lips once and Charlie Chaplin lips another time.  I’d suggest one usability improvement for when they invite you to choose a shade.  Presently, they send you to a world map of Burberry stores.  A rather lazy solution.  I would have preferred the site to auto-detect the country in which I was surfing and send me to the appropriate local shade collections on offer.  Note that the Burberry Kiss app is “optimized” for Chrome.  In other words, it’s exclusive to Chrome.

Youtility over YouSellToMe

As Jay Baer’s book Youtility stresses, it’s better long term to find ways to help someone rather to sell something to them.  {Click to Tweet!}  In this case, Burberry is helping to promote romance in an elegant manner using digital tools.  What’s nice about the Burberry Kiss is that the sales pitch is very discrete… you can pick from 5 shades and that little option might spur the inquisitive mind.  Otherwise, the whole journey is free and easy, without any obligation!  (I do remain curious about any follow-up CRM).  You can even follow all “live” Burberry kisses being sent around the world, as well as see a heat map of the most common destinations.  Nice one.  Moreover, there is a privacy option that can keep your kiss a secret.  (For the others, beware, the name and destination is visible).

Burberry Kiss being sent around the world, The Myndset digital marketing

xx without the last x

As Christopher Bailey said in an interview quoted in VOGUE, ”We’re constantly thinking about how we translate the emotion of what we create and experience in the real world into the digital space, whether that’s capturing the energy and excitement of a live gig, the hum and buzz of anticipation before a runway show, or just the feeling you get when you pull on your trench coat on a rainy morning.”  The cocktail of strong new products, innovation in the retail experience and strong digital and immersive initiatives, seems to be doing a lot of good to Burberry’s overall IRL numbers: +13% retail at end of June.

Overall, I think it’s a good example of luxury digital marketing with intelligent partnering and creating an exclusive and inviting experience.  If you want to send your own Burberry Kiss, please click here (you needn’t kiss the screen)!

Best, Minter xx

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