If you can't or haven't been kissed by someone wearing Burberry lipstick, a new interactive ad from Google's Art, Copy & Code project might just be the next best thing. The Burberry Kisses campaign brings the universal symbol of a red kiss into the digital era by giving people the chance to snap a photo of their own lips and then send a special someone a letter sealed with their personalized virtual kiss.
"What we're really trying to do with the concept is reimagine how luxury marketing is done on the web for Millennials and do it from the lens of beauty products," Aman Govil, project lead of the Art, Copy & Code project, tells ClickZ. "The creative emphasis was how do you look at luxury advertising differently on the web than on traditional channels…We really wanted to leverage some of the insights around Millennials and how they engage with content on the web."
Burberry's team began working side-by-side with Google on the project in January. Soon enough, the ideas were flowing.
"When we started looking at different ideas through this lens of lipstick products, the thing that kept standing out most often was this beautiful image of the red kiss in a lot of advertising and what it stands for a lot of people," Govil says. "From a storytelling standpoint, it's a very human, deeply personal, yet universally used way of communicating and connecting with other people…Nothing says something is sent with love and care like a kiss."
When users visit the site on their desktop, smartphone, or tablet they are encouraged to use their camera on that device to capture an image of their own lips. Once they add color to their virtual kiss with one of five lipstick colors from Burberry, they can write a short note and send their kiss-sealed letter via email. The Burberry Kisses site also features a map of the world that visually represents the location where the letters are being sent and received in real time or in an overlay that shows where all the letters have landed.
"When you send your letter it flows beautifully and gives this emotive experience of 'my letter's actually going somewhere,'" Govil says. Street imagery of popular landmarks, intersections, and reflections off water puddles in the street are all dynamically inserted into the short film of sorts that plays when a letter is signed, sealed, and delivered.
"We really want to partner with the industry to show creative possibilities being enabled by the modern web…A lot of this is on the cutting edge of where the industry is going today, and what's really possible with tools today," he says.
"Burberry's trying to get its brand loved and shared by more people on the web and that was really a lot of where the creative was trying to go," adds Govil. "If you look at the creative, it's not about like 'hey, go buy a lipstick,' it's more about 'here's a beautiful experience that hopefully adds value to people's lives and a little bit of fun.'"
Burberry plans to promote the new campaign through a series of ads that will appear on every screen under the sun using Google's Lightbox ad units. "The big innovation on the advertising side is how do you deliver those experiences across the web on lots and lots of ads. It's easy to do it on a website and guild a sandcastle in the middle of the forest, but you want to get it out to everybody…So the experience on the website and the ad is exactly the same," says Govil.
"What we do in a lot of these projects is we actually do innovation and not invention. So we try and force ourselves to have access to the exact same products everyone else in the industry has access to," he adds. "A lot of the work that you see here is really bringing these tools that are available to creatives and advertisers together in a cohesive experience."
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 19, 2014