Our long-standing relationship with Barbour began back in 2015, when we got the opportunity to produce a season collection film. We must have caught their eye, because from that spark of intrigue, we went on to cultivate a relationship that spanned the entire mainline collections – and would only go on to grow.
The real key to our success is simply our own sense of competition. As we approach each season, we ask ourselves how we can improve upon the previous year, how we can push that creative further – and that drive and ambition really thrived knowing the projects and client so intimately. All the time we would normally spend getting to know a brand and their previous work was gained in the creative development stage, allowing us to really get to the heart of our creatives and improve year on year on year. We really were our biggest critics, our biggest competitors, and our biggest motivation.
Three years passed, and the work we were producing was consistently excellent, exceeding expectations again and again. That was when Barbour took the next step in our relationship, signing us on a retainer contract rather than a case-by-case basis. This shift in relationship was a sign of commitment on both sides; it showed Barbour’s belief in our vision, and on our part, promised a consistent team across projects and seasons. And it was that gesture of faith that opened the floodgates for our greatest work together, because more than anything, it was an indication of trust.
This was the signal we needed to take our work to a new level. Where previously Barbour would provide us with a creative and we brought that vision to life in the best way possible, this gave us the confidence to work with Barbour creatively, collaborating and building the creatives into something new. A prime example of this is our film for the Autumn Winter Shirt Department in 2020. Barbour wanted a collection film that oriented the pieces in their found environments – think manor houses and country lanes. But we saw an opportunity for more, and built the idea into a film that asked what it meant to be a gentleman. It was about more than just clothing – it was about crafting an aspirational lifestyle, and about character.
At other times, the strength of our relationship shows itself in our versatility and flexibility. Our film with Sam Claflin for Barbour Gold Standard in 2020 was originally shot in Autumn, with a different model. When Barbour secured the celebrity for a shoot, they decided that since our original film had been met with so much success, we should reshoot that very film with our new talent. There was no brief – just the trust in our excellence.
We could have shot the exact same film – especially considering we were given just two weeks’ notice before the shoot, and just one week’s notice that we would be working with Claflin – but that’s not who we are. Instead, we considered the elements at our disposal and adapted the creative to make the best use of them. As it would be shot in the middle of Winter instead of Autumn, this would be a moodier, more dramatic film. We’d also shift the balance of attention to share the spotlight between Claflin and the clothes, allowing his personal brand to fuel the Barbour name. We essentially dialled up every successful element of the original film with the intention of really outdoing ourselves.
These are just a few examples of the exceptional work that our long-term relationship with Barbour has allowed us to create. As part of our retainer, we also get the privilege of creating films for the pre-season projects as well, bringing our total output to four seasons per year, with around 15 films per season. From those 15 films, with all the various versions we output – retail, social, wholesaler, website, and the rest – we end up creating close to 200 films.
Throughout all of that content, our relationship with Barbour has grown into a strong bond – it feels as though we are part of their marketing team now, and they consider us to be an extension of their own team, allowing our creatives to get stronger and stronger, season on season.