iPhone + Burberry= too chavvy?

Despite the fact that Apple shares dropped 5% after new iPhone release, the new iPhone 5C and 5S still generate some buzz after their cooperation with the über-British luxurious brand Burberry. Yet, many make jokes about their chavvy union.


iPhone 5S filming a Burberry Sketch (photo via Burberry.com)

Before the official launch of the new iPhone, Apple provided the new phone for the British brand to snap runway photographs and film exclusive runway show for its 2014 spring and summer fashion collection. It showcases the new phone’s fantastic video and photographic capabilities with exquisite slow motion video in an Instagram clip.

This cooperation sparked talks and interests. Even some suggested that this demonstration helped Apple’s stock bounced back.However, many see it as a chavvy union between the technology guru and the British fashion house.

burberry (1)

A typical “chav” (left), Daniella Westbrook (right) with her daughter in Burberry. (photo via dontpaniconline.com)

Burberry, the successful high-end British fashion company, was at a time struggling with its image that associated with the “chav” – British term referring to youth of lower class with poor education and loutish behaviours, who puts on luxurious fashion brand clothes or counterfeit version of the clothing. Burberry’s iconic tartan became the symbol of  “the chavs”  because of its release of a comparatively cheap 50-pounds baseball cap in check and it even became the high-end fashion house’s nightmare when a C-list celebrity and her baby dressed from head to toe in Burberry’s iconic check.  Suddenly, the famous tartan became a joke of every tabloid in UK. Moreover, some pubs and clubs even banned customers who dressed in Burberry check because some of “the chavs” were aggressive soccer hooligans.


Christopher Bailey (left) and Angela Ahrendts of Burberry (photo via reduxpictures.com)

Yet, Burberry reinvented its image. Buberry ditched the baseball cap that got itself into the mud in the first place. Then, Angela Ahrendts, the new CEO stepped in to buy back 23 of its licenses and tackle the problem of counterfeits. The company then hired Christopher Bailey as its CCO and took down its famous check and opted for a subtle pattern of tartan in its design. They even opened up for new ways to promote its original British image in the younger generations’ mind by campaigning around made-in-Britain talents, indie bands and music. Moreover, they took advantage to the advent of new media. Burberry, a fashion house with a-century history, is one of the first high-fashion brands that stream live fashion show on its website in 3D and engage its younger customers with a Facebook page that collect photos of customers wearing their iconic trench coat.


Customers holding iPhone 5S and 5C (photo via ibnlive.in.com)

Apple, being the leading brand in mobile technology, seems to go down to the same path with Burberry with the launch of colourful iPhone 5C and gold-coloured iPhone 5S. Tech bloggers bad-mouthed the new release phones and called them “vulgar, gaudy and tacky” or “cheapy, plasticy” phones. Could this new iPhones hurt iPhone’s brand image? Could this cooperation with Burberry make iPhone5S a fashionista must-have? Or it just revived the connection with “the chavs”? Would it even reduce Apple’s value?

Only time will tell, but I am assured that iPhone is still something everyone covet at least for now. The new gold-coloured iPhone is now soared to $1900 in Hong Kong and $2300 in Taiwan (10 times and 12 times of its original price respectively). My roommates queued up for the gold gadget in three different stores in LA for three straight mornings still can’t get hold of one.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to iPhone + Burberry= too chavvy?

  1. Mengchu says:

    I don’t think the new iPhones are degrading Apple’s brand image. On the contrary, those bold marketing strategies may help Apple build a multi-dimensional brand image and gain an even larger market share. Now iPhones have some new tags: fashion, fancy and “more affordable”. Young people may become more interested in the new iPhones.

  2. wanyang says:

    In my view, the collaboration between the luxury brands and new technology is a win-win situation. Nowadays, more and more young people are becoming the main force of luxury brand consumers; therefore, the luxury brands should wisely leverage the advantage of social media and advanced technology to attract the young generation and generate buzz around them. In this case, for most people, Burberry is a long established and renowned high end brand that are generally perceived as classic and conservative. Associating trendy and cool shooting function of Iphone 5S with Burberry run way is a great move for Burberry to reinvent the established brand image and emotionally engage with the young audiences.

    • Siyu says:

      Same here. I’m not sure if you guys knew, but Burberry had a wonderful campaign working with Google on sending kisses around the world (to promote its new series of lipsticks). You can have a snapshot of your kiss and then use it as the seal for a letter. Then you can send the letter to anyone anywhere in the world. Everything for the campaign is great!!!