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Digital Innovators: Burberry Creates 3D Shop Experience

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As part of a recent holiday campaign in December, luxury fashion house Burberry teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to leverage 3D movie technology to connect with digitally savvy shoppers passing through a busy London intersection. The campaign demonstrates the convergence of digitisation, gamification and personalisation as a robust tool for engaging with the new mobile shopper, who is increasingly becoming overly engaged as commerce shifts towards the mobile device.

UK-based Burberry took over the world renowned curved screen at Piccadilly Circus in London with an interactive campaign that used the same technology featured in the 3D film, "Kung Fu Panda." Up to five passersby at a time were able to design their own Burberry scarf, monogram it with initials and then beam the creation onto Piccadilly’s curved screens. Afterwards, participants had the option to purchase their personalized scarf on the company's website or its nearby flagship store on Regent Street.


The campaign’s end-goal was to create more intimate relationships with customers during the year’s most important shopping season. Throughout the rest of the year, the luxury group does leverage social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Line and YouTube, to drive more intimate relationships with these increasingly digitally savvy consumers. In fact, the luxury group has launched its own music station on YouTube, featuring up-and-coming British singers performing acoustic sets. But on occasion, Burberry also conducts isolated campaigns like this one in Piccadilly Circus.

Of course, Burberry is not alone in these efforts. Brands around the world are leveraging various forms of technology, including social media, to develop more engaging and entertaining experiences in an attempt to connect to its customer bases, especially millennials. Dubbed “digital natives,” this generation has grown up with the Internet and is highly attached to their smartphone. Approximately three-quarters of Internet-connected consumers aged under 30 years own a smartphone, and 24% of them spend more than three hours a day using their phones, according to Euromonitor International’s Global Consumer Trends Survey.

This generation’s relationship with brands and how that translates to smartphone usage across commerce is typically complex, however. While millennials are frequently willing to “like” or “follow” a brand on social media, this does not necessarily translate into brand loyalty, and rarely means they are willing to help promote the brand, according to Euromonitor International’s Hyperconnectivity Survey. Instead their relationship with brands on social media, specifically, is centred on getting access to deals, coupons and specialised information.  In general, millennials are much more likely than their older counterparts to price-check and search for deals via a mobile phone.

Although millennials use their phones for browsing, they are much less keen to complete a purchase with their phone. Like their older counterparts, this generation has security and privacy concerns when it comes to using the mobile device as a tool in the payment process. However, milennials are much more frustrated with cumbersome websites and their slow loading times than their older counterparts. The use of a mobile phone as a purchasing tool — and eventually payments tool — undoubtedly will continue to grow more commonplace in the coming decades as this next generation of shoppers, who are more comfortable with buying products and services on mobile devices, flood the marketplace.

In the meantime, campaigns, such as this one from Burberry, appeal to this up-and-coming digital savvy consumer generation’s attachment to smartphones and desire for an experience tailored specifically to them. While Burberry did give consumers the option to buy the monogrammed scarf on the spot via the company’s website, it also recognized that many still prefer to make purchases in person and gave those participating in the campaign the option to finish the purchase as one of Burberry’s nearby physical locations. This is a good example of a brand that met consumers where they are today.

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