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Romance and augmented reality

Valentine’s Day was months ago, but Burberry are offering hopeless romantics the perfect opportunity to send a spontaneous love letter to anyone, anywhere. The project, which launched this week, is entitled Burberry Kisses, and it enables individuals to compose a digital postcard and seal it with a kiss – literally.

The gimmick is as follows: users can blow a kiss to the object of their affection, either using the webcam on their computer, or by pressing their lips against the screen of their smartphone or tablet device. Then the postcard is sent off, and you can watch it travel the globe to its destination thanks to Burberry’s new partner in romantic augmented reality, Google Maps. Once the postcard arrives at its destination, you can watch a real-time map of the world and see all the other notes flying through the sky.

“We wanted to put a little bit of heart and soul into the digital projects that we work on,” says Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, in an introductory YouTube video. There is also a wonderfully unobtrusive marketing undercurrent to the whimsical project; after kissing the digital postcard, users can select a colour from five Burberry lipstick shades (a nice touch, considering the largely female appeal), or alternatively they can opt for no colour at all.

What is so refreshing about Burberry Kisses is that it does not accompany a product launch, and touch of lippy aside, doesn’t push any sales pitch on the user. It is designed primarily and successfully as a light-hearted, enjoyable distraction.

Burberry Kisses is the latest creative venture within Google’s “Art, Copy & Code” project, where Google partners with an array of brands, with the aim of “connecting everyday objects to the web, telling more personal stories with data, and making our lives easier and more fun.”

If the ultimate goal of Art, Copy & Code is to bring the real world and digital world closer, then Burberry Kisses must count as something of a step forward. It also might offer something in the way of an explanation, should you happen to see somebody kissing their iPhone over the weekend.

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