Friday, December 14, 2012

Writing short stories for Robbie Williams' Farrell brand



It can be hard coming up with creative, original content for fashion companies
So, when I was approached by Robbie Williams’ Farrell menswear brand to create five festive “updates” for their pre-Xmas campaign, I decided to write a short story in five parts based around the lead-up to Christmas and the brand’s impeccably laid-out fashion shoots. This would be something customers could actually engage with.
Rather than just listing what I saw in the shoots, I came up with the idea of Farrell as a character – a sarcastic, smart northerner trying to make his way in London. The story reflect his slightly detached view of the world and the (forgivable) flaws that lie at the heart of his personality.
The inspiration for the brand came from Williams’ granddad, who mentored him as a child, so “my” Farrell had to have his values of self-respect and individuality  too. As the company says:
“The brand is named for Jack Farrell, aka Jack the Giant Killer. Jack was a notable dresser, a Stoke-on-Trent native, who lived a hard life but lived it well. A strong man, Jack believed in honesty, integrity, good manners and a sense of honour.”
Writing stories for brands – in whatever medium – really helps them engage with their customers. It’s simply not good enough to throw adverts up and expect people not to get irritated by them. Today, if people are going to give you their time, brands have to give them something back. You can read all five parts of the story here – or start with part one,
The Office Party, below…

It may be the naffest event of the year, but the office Christmas bash is not an excuse to let standards drop. Farrell keeps men looking sharp with tailored jackets, traditional shirting and just a hint of stylish rebellion

That time of year again.

Graham, the boss, is in his office slowly turning the colour of beetroot as it dawns on him that the deadline that “simply has to be met” has wilted in the face of that all-consuming enemy, the staff Christmas party. Should he ring the MD now to break the bad news or do it after the Secret Santa? Only one answer to that.


Out in the “breakout space”, Farrell sips the Lambrini that Faye’s brought in. He knows too much about wine and the provenance of the grapes to drink this stuff, but it doesn’t half bring out the taste in his Tangy Toms.

The rest of the team – they’re actually called that – are preparing to leave for the party. Graham’s booked the Greek restaurant near the station, plenty of plates to smash and ouzo to drink, clarion calls of a good time for people for who don’t know how to have one. He checks his box of northern soul 7”s – why is he DJing for this lot? ’Cos if he doesn’t someone else will.

He buttons up his cropped frock coat, wraps the fringed scarf round his and sticks on his felt trilby, a nod to the effortless style of his granddad, who even did the gardening in a shirt and tie.  Faye catches his eye and smiles, topping up the Lambrini.

“I know it’s not Jacob’s Creek,” she says, giggling. “But it’ll do.”
He nods.
“And so will you,” he says. “Cheers!”

2 comments:

  1. Made me laugh, a few of them. Great writing.

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  2. Thanks a lot, Mr Line. A bit of sauce never harmed anyone.

    ReplyDelete