Innovative lip detection technology lets users capture and send a digital kiss on a personalized journey to loved ones, experiencing the beauty and romance of Burberry along the way.

Published
June 2015
Topics
    The Challenge

    Capture the Hearts of Millennials

    Burberry wanted to immerse millennials in the rich heritage of their 157-year-old brand by using technology to reach them on an emotional level. Our challenge was to bring the romance of Burberry into the digital space in order to spark a connection with a new generation.

    The Big Idea

    Getting Personal in Digital

    The idea is really simple: you send one of your personal kisses to anyone, anywhere in the world, and you follow the journey of your kiss.
    Christopher Bailey, CEO, Burberry

    To grab the attention of millennials, we needed to create something that felt intensely personal, and offered a way for them to express themselves. What could be more personal than a kiss? We decided to translate the connective power of a kiss into digital and bring the intrigue of the Burberry brand to the experience.

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    The idea is really simple: you send one of your personal kisses to anyone, anywhere in the world, and you follow the journey of your kiss.
    Christopher Bailey, CEO, Burberry
    The Creative Process

    The Kiss that Sealed the Deal

    In partnership with the Burberry creative team, we developed a campaign to let users capture a virtual kiss and send it on a personalized journey to a loved one anywhere in the world. To sell in the idea, we built a prototype to show how a webcam could digitize this most personal of gestures. Proving that the tech worked propelled our idea forward.

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    The Experience

    Romance Across all Screens

    Burberry's "kissable" display, mobile and tablet ads prompt an intimate interaction that doesn't feel like traditional marketing. It's an example of how open web technologies like WebGL, HTML5 and CSS3 can bring brand stories to life seamlessly across all devices.

    The Technology

    Capturing Every Kiss

    Our biggest challenge was to prove that the lip detection technology we developed would work on lips across the world. We enlisted dozens of test subjects to kiss devices in different lighting situations and mimic the real-life scenarios that we'd have to build around. We then used color and blob detection within a confined area - the 'kiss here' box - to capture each imprint.

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    The Build

    Paving the Path of a Single Kiss

    Throughout the development process, we looked for other ways to personalize the experience. If we knew the user's location, we could utilize Street View and Google Places to illustrate each letter's unique journey. Google Earth and Sketchup allowed us to stylize and stitch together beautiful imagery from the sender's and recipient's respective cities.

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    The Way It Was Made

    Open Web Technologies

    Burberry Kisses was built with products and open web technologies that are readily available to anyone.

    On the desktop, we used a combination of innovative color and blob recognition, image processing and lip detection to let you capture your personal kisses with your webcam. On mobile devices, kisses are captured with multi-touch and touch duration.

    Using WebGL, you can watch real love letters fly in stunning 3D, in cities around the world and in personalized journeys for each kiss. The experience is rendered in modern browsers without any extra plugins.

    We added more realism to every kiss's journey by reflecting dynamic StreetView images from Google Maps into the puddles that fill the city street scenes.

    The Impact

    Love is Everywhere

    The success of the campaign surpassed our expectations. Visitors from 215+ countries spent an average of three-and-a-half minutes with Kisses. The campaign captured headlines worldwide as the #burberrykisses tag spread across social media channels. On launch day, we noticed lots of love emanating from Brazil—to our sweet surprise, they were celebrating Brazilian Valentine's Day.

    The Campaign Extensions

    Kisses Over and Over Again

    Kisses has evolved into a creative platform which Burberry continues to bring to life in both the digital and physical worlds. The campaign was reimagined for Valentine's Day and Holiday in the United States and has crossed over into the retail space as well. In May, the Kisses theme was prominently featured at Burberry's flagship store opening in Shanghai.

    The Takeaways

    "Established Media" Can Do New Things

    Consider how to use established digital media, like display and mobile ads, to bring beautiful brand stories to life in new ways. Unique, gorgeous artwork will entice people to engage.

    Personalize Throughout the Experience

    Consider how to personalize in multiple ways, throughout the experience. For example, Kisses enabled consumers to capture their own kisses and send them on a customized path to their recipients' locations.

    Know the Killer Feature and Build the Sell Around It

    Instead of sharing wireframes to sell in a digital idea, prototype the simplest, most visually interesting component of your project early. To demonstrate the Kisses idea to key stakeholders for approval, we created a video of a team member experimenting with an early version of the lip detection feature.

    Put Designers and Coders in the Same Space

    It may sound blindly obvious, but there is true power and efficiency that comes when you actually sit the art and copy folks next to each other. This enables creatives and technologists to hand work off to one another seamlessly or work in tandem. And sometimes technical problems can be solved with a creative solution (e.g. a tweak to the user experience could fix a tech bug), or vice versa.