Burberry: investing in Snapchat for the long term
Burberry: investing in Snapchat for the long term
A view from Daniel Williams

Why Burberry's sponsored Snapchat Discover channel is marketing brilliance

Almost anything that happens on Snapchat is touted as ground-breaking because of the relative newness of the platform, writes Daniel Williams, luxury and lifestyle planner at Leo Burnett London.

In the case of Burberry’s new Snapchat Discover channel however, the ground-breaking tag is well deserved.

Burberry’s sponsored channel promotes the luxury brand’s latest men’s fragrance, Mr. Burberry, and features articles, videos and interviews on the theme of ‘how to be a modern man’.  

It’s fitting that Burberry’s first major campaign on Snapchat is for a fragrance, as fragrances present an opportunity to get young consumers to buy into a luxury brand. But this brilliantly executed campaign also denotes a serious long-term investment in Snapchat from Burberry.

Snapchat’s young audience is worth investment

Brands generally use content to market their products, but here it’s the other way round. Snapchat codes on Mr. Burberry bottles allow people to scan for more Snapchat content.

Instead of using the channel to support the campaign, the campaign is supporting the channel. Unlike other brands that jump on the latest technology as a way of showing off or looking innovative, Burberry is planning on a lasting legacy from its investment.

The Mr. Burberry campaign is a wake up call to the other luxury brands who view the Snapchat audience as too young and therefore not offering a profitable investment.

Snapchat content is often seen as having inferior production values, not fitting with the art direction of luxury marketing. But here Burberry has proven you can still retain production values and on-brand creative equity while talking to a new audience.

The young millennials that Burberry is targeting are clearly not big spenders at the moment, but the brand is playing the long game. Thanks to the supporting content offering advice on everything from how to style a trench coat to planning a first date, now there’s a whole new generation growing up with Burberry defining what it is to be a modern man for them.

By producing extra editorial content around how a man should behave and what he should own, Burberry is teeing itself up to become a style authority for the menswear shoppers of the future.

Snapchat set for growth

The move marks a major leap forward for Snapchat as it proves to luxury players that you can talk to young consumers without undermining your brand.

Snapchat is clearly set to continue to grow and flourish in the future, making the generally accepted view that is just for kids seem rather naïve.

As is always the case with Burberry, we must now brace ourselves for a lot of copycat campaigns.

But while it makes sense for the likes of Burberry to get in early, Snapchat is not for everyone.

Burberry has authority in this space and a tradition of working with young British artists and creatives (for example the composer of the soundtrack to the Mr. Burberry film, Benjamin Clementine, has also worked on previous Burberry campaigns).

Brands now jumping on Snapchat should be prepared for a backlash if they just use it to talk about their latest products without offering any other editorial or content.

The more traditional luxury set shouldn’t invest just for the sake of it. But for those brave, digitally native high-end brands, Snapchat is an exciting, and potentially hugely rewarding, new direction.