On advertising as editorial and Burberry’s SS12 campaign

This time last year I was in the thick of researching an article for H&M magazine on the increasingly mainstream appeal of fashion advertising. I spent hours refreshing The Fashion Spot forums hungry for news of the emerging SS12 ad campaigns to ensure my summer 2011 feature was up to date. Alas, PRs were of little help; Burberry couldn’t release SS11 campaign images until the new year and Chanel was tight-lipped on speculation that Blake Lively might be the face of its SS11 bags. I did my best (thank you The Fashion Spot) and made my copy as accurate as it could be for the new year deadline.

Twelve months later and it’s a different story. Today an email came through from Burberry HQ with reams of info on its new SS12 campaign featuring Cara Delevigne and actor Eddie Redmayne, complete with links to images and a request to consider this as a news piece for the blog. It seems that (as my H&M piece examines below) there’s now definite value in seeding ad campaign images to online press as editorial. The Burberry campaign officially launches in January (same as last year) but this time around the brand sees fit to build buzz by previewing it early. As well as seeding to blogs and other online publications, it will be shown across all Burberry platforms ‘including Burberry.com, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and Instagram’.

As my feature below points out, this modern-day treatment of advertising has benefits for all involved. The bloggers get high quality content and insider info while the models (especially if they’re newish models or actors like those chosen by Burberry) enjoy a higher profile through the added exposure. But of course, it’s the brands that get the best deal. They get extra eyeballs on their ads by pitching them as editorial – in effect placing ads without the pesky ad rate. Cheeky but clever, no?


MAIN IMAGE: © Copyright Burberry/Testino

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4 Responses to On advertising as editorial and Burberry’s SS12 campaign

  1. Definitely cheeky, but oh-so effective. I’m not sure of it’s shelf life though. These images end up everywhere, and I reckon over exposure leads to complacency among readers (blogs or otherwise).

    The next wave seems to be video, whether they’re swish campaign missives, behind-the-scenes looks, formal interviews or occasional humorous gimmickry a la Lanvin (etc, etc, etc…).

  2. Even cheekier than this, I find, is when magazines feature ‘Sponsored Features’ in magazines that fit within the same look and feel of their regular content. Only if you look closely do you realize that the fashion spread is, for example, comprised of only items from Next.

    I’d be interested to know how this sort of advertisement influences readers. I find them slightly offensive – like I’m being tricked into thinking it’s a normal feature when in fact it’s just an ad.

    Possibly the same when it comes to blogs just posting images they’ve been sent from PRs?

    It’s a tricky situation I think. The article you wrote looks really interesting though. Would love to get my hands on a copy of that magazine. xx

  3. Kay Montano says:

    Lovely piece Navaz, well informed as always. Often wanted to use my ad campaigns in my portfolio (as you reveal,advertising has become artistically ‘freer’ than editorial!)oddly, it’s ‘not done’.

  4. Wow, over post-produced pix big-time, pas verit√©…

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