The new ad is released for Christmas, though apart from some snowy scenes there is nothing overtly Christmassy about it. Instead it appears like a trailer for a full-length movie on the life of Thomas Burberry, and with director Asif Kapadia (of Senna and Amy fame) at the helm and Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies) as screenwriter, it is a glitzy affair.
Brands can sometimes get a little plodding when telling the story of their heritage, and this is anything but. It could be argued it is a little too far the other way – as if reality isn’t enough to keep people interested, there is a fictional love triangle thrown in and classic Hollywood-esque scenes of Burberry throwing all his papers around in a fit of pique.
But amongst the drama, there are fascinating factual elements. Burberry invented the weatherproof fabric gabardine, for example, which was used for dressing the military as well as pilots and polar explorers including Sir Ernest Shackleton (played here by Dominic West) and this innovation provides the meat of the story.
It all adds up to what looks like a pretty stylish period drama, even though it’s actually only a three-minute-long ad. What is not totally clear is how this heritage and innovation plays out in the brand now, though perhaps that’s a subject for the sequel.