The unpredictable London traffic, jam-packed runway schedule and relentless copy deadlines just don’t wash with Burberry, which has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to latecomers at its Prorsum show. Since 2009, Burberry has been live-streaming its men’s and women’s runway shows—which means that timing needs to be pin-sharp. It’s well documented that when live-stream events are advertised online, and they start even five minutes late, large chunks of viewers get bored and leave.
Enter the members of the Burberry militia, who send reminders to guests attending the live show to arrive on time, and sometimes event text or call them to drive home the point. Online guests receive reminders, too, while a clock on burberry.com counts down the minutes to the event. Online viewers follow the show on burberry.com, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, in addition to the Chinese platforms Sina Weibo and YouKu. Burberry also live-streams the show on Twitter, allowing followers to watch and retweet directly in their Twitter feeds and on the Burberry Twitter page.
So it should come as no surprise that latecomers at Burberry’s show in Hyde Park are often greeted by beady-eyed security guards staring down guests and pointing menacingly at their watches. They’re the lucky ones. Those arriving after the designated hour would never even be allowed into the venue. Since the live-streaming began, “No one has ever held up a show. The show starts when it starts,” said a Burberry spokeswoman, adding that other media channels co-stream the show with Burberry—another reason why everyone needs to step lively.