Our friends down in St Agnes, Finisterre, are a great British success story and everything you’d like to believe a true surf brand should be.
Run by a tight group of friends, Finisterre are the real deal: passionate surfers, open water swimmers and marathon runners who try to infuse their passions into every item they produce. Take their eccentric, principled decision to acquire and keep their own flock of local Bowmont sheep so they could use the wool for their own products, rather than import merino wool from the other side of the globe.
It’s an approach that has won them hearts, minds and some fiercely loyal customers in the surfing and outdoor community, who recognise and respond to the passion they see in the brand. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Tom (far left), Ernie (far right), Gregor and the gang down at the Finisterre workshop last year, and can confirm that what you see with these guys is what you get.
All of which has made their latest print ad campaign, The Task (at the top of the page) all the more intriguing. Tipping a hat to Apple’s legendary 1980s ‘Welcome, IBM. Seriously‘ ad (and, going back even further, David Ogilvy’s series of Ogilvy & Mather house ads from the 1960s and 1970s), Finisterre’s ad is a direct challenge to the Big 4 surf brands – Quiksilver, O’Neill, Rip Curl and Billabong – for their predominantly warm water strategy: something Finisterre reckon ‘isn’t geared towards designing products around what the cold water surfer actually needs’.
What do you think? Risky marketing strategy or much needed shake up of the surf status quo?