Feadship rewrites a pesky Hollywood cliché

By Robert Wielaard

HAARLEM – Entourage. Taken. Werewolf of Wall Street. The Bourne Identity and plenty of Bond movies. In the hands of Hollywood, luxury yachts are often realms of vice and debauchery.

Feadship is at pains to upend a villain image burdening the superyacht industry. The Dutch custom superyacht builder has begun publishing somewhat syrupy videos showing superyacht buyers and aficionados as people pursuing adventure, quality of life, rare experiences, privacy and peerless craftsmanship.

In one, the narrator says “there are many things a parent can pass down to his child. Experience. Craftsmanship. Words of wisdom. But it is a special parent who says, “Build a ship.”

Farouk Nefzi

The “Stories of Feadship” mimic Johnny Walker Blue Label’s ‘Gentleman’s Wager’ videos. “Look at the one featuring the Baglietto yard and actors Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini,” Feadship Marketing and Brand Manager Farouk Nefzi tells DutchYachtBuilding. “A great example!”

The Feadship videos are about, and for, rich people. So? “Wealth exists and always will,” says Nefzi, unapologetically.

Hollywood can be very selective. It generally treats owners of luxury cars, art collections, private planes and castles more deferentially than owners of fancy yachts.

At a 2017 meeting with yachting media types, including this newsletter, Nefzi showed a clip from the movie Taken in which armed villains race through a superyacht. It ends with blood on a pristine carpet.

The villain image “is an industry talking point, but until now we haven’t really acted on it,” says Nefzi. “But as the sector becomes more professional, more media-savvy we meet this head-on. I think people appreciate the disruptive direction Feadship is taking. We get many positive reactions from within the sector. Even rivals are complimenting us.”