Lily James stars in the My Burberry Black global ad campaign, shot by Mario Testino.


Burberry has recruited British actress Lily James to help it get in touch with its social side for the launch of My Burberry Black parfum, a more intense formulation than last year’s My Burberry fragrance, which was inspired by the black Burberry Heritage trenchcoat.

The My Burberry Black television campaign, starring  James, launches today with a sharp focus on social media. To celebrate the launch, Burberry tapped its first Snapchat filter and James will “take over” the brand’s Snapchat channel, leading up to the unveiling of the global advertising campaign, shot by Mario Testino, at 1 pm EST. The campaign will stream across Burberry’s social media platforms and will be screened in outdoor venues in London, including Clear Channel’s One Piccadilly and the Coventry House screens, also in Piccadilly. The brand will for the first time utilize Instagram stories today, as it follows James to the My Burberry Black launch event at Thomas’s Regent Street in London.

“The launch of My Burberry Black marks the next important step in the development of our beauty business as we continue to connect our fashion, fragrance and makeup collections,” said Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry. The Snapchat lens, he told WWD, was created to immerse consumers “into all the imagery, sound and storytelling of the My Burberry campaign.”

“There is a real sense of quintessential Britishness about Burberry that is so effortless and cool,” said James. “Whilst I shot this campaign, I was in a film called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and the film poster had just been released. And it was me, Sam Riley, Douglas Booth and Suki Waterhouse and a couple of others. And I realized all of us had been a part of the Burberry family.” The My Burberry Black campaign is James’ first global advertising campaign.

The campaign’s Snapchat filter is a clever nod to the brand’s British heritage — a Burberry umbrella pops up on screen, shielding users from a virtual rainstorm. The user is then prompted to blow a kiss, which triggers the photo to appear bathed in gold. The Lens is available for 24 hours beginning Tuesday in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy and Germany.

The fragrance has been available since January at Harrods as an exclusive, but the launch of the global advertising campaign also marks this month’s global rollout to Burberry stores, Burberry.com and retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora.

The juice itself is comprised of a candied rose and peach nectar heart, a base of jasmine flower and amber patchouli top notes. The bottle is made of amber glass and its design, like the My Burberry fragrance, is meant to be reminiscent of the black trenchcoat, including the horn-finish cap, similar to the coat’s buttons, and the back gabardine knot, made in Castleford, Yorkshire, and inspired by the original weatherproof fabric invented by Thomas Burberry.

A 90-ml. bottle is priced $125, 50 ml. is $95 and 30-ml. is $72. Serious enthusiasts can purchase a 900-ml. (30-oz.) collector’s edition for $2,800. A body cream and deodorant are also available.

For all the reverence to Burberry’s British legacy, the fragrance and the ad campaign aren’t meant to be stiff lipped and stodgy.

Bailey’s vision for the scent was to go back to Burberry’s “original story — the English garden,” said My Burberry Black perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. “The English garden in our new story is different because it’s evening, a different time of day and a different mood….There is a woman in this garden, wearing only her black trenchcoat against her bare skin. She is a very confident woman — confident about herself and about her sensuality.”

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