In a move that is sadly not a surprise, Burberry’s new ad is an exercise in excess aimed at rich white people.
Burberry’s official statement on their new video spot says, “The Burberry festive film is inspired by the golden age of cinematic musicals.” Okay, I’m with them so far, as this does aesthetically hearken back to the Hollywood musicals of the 1950’s. Then: “It tells the tale of a young couple falling in love, against a theatrical backdrop of London.” Poppycock, I declare!
So you can save yourself four-plus minutes, I’ll tell you what really happens. This is not some epic love story. There’s not even really a coherent narrative to speak of. The entire runtime consists of fur-coat clad dancers frolicking in the snow, with David Beckham’s son running around for absolutely no discernible reason.
The music sounds like a bad, raspy Coldplay wannabe (which I assume to be the British corollary to a Nickelback clone). The visuals are impressive, but they never change. This would probably work pretty well as a 30-second spot, but at four-plus minutes it’s simply self-indulgent nonsense.
Near the end of the spot, Beckham shows up wearing a hideously shiny, floor-length gold jacket that only James Brown could ever dream of pulling off. Speaking of James Brown…
Can we talk about this spot’s race issue? Among the dozens of dancers, I spotted one black man, who appears in the background of three shots throughout the spot’s nearly four-and-a-half minute runtime. Every other person is as white as the fake stage snow they’re dancing in. Burberry may as well have added the tagline, “Clothing for wealthy white people.” That’s not a message I’m comfortable with in 2014.
If you like your advertising to be elitist, race-exclusive, self-congratulatory garbage masquerading as art, “From London with Love” is for you. (The sad part about all this is that part of me thinks Burberry absolutely nailed their target market.)
Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts