Monday, June 18, 2012

Employee Profiles: Dan F., AE Copywriter

Dan F., Copywriter for AE, works with the marketing team each season to create cool, original writing for the brand. He writes the taglines, headlines & other “copy” you see in stores, emails, & more to give the brand a fun, distinctive voice. We sat down with Dan to learn a little more about what it’s like to be the voice of AE!

Dan F., AE Copywriter

How did you get your start at AE?
I jumped around a lot before I came here. I worked in a lot of journalism-based jobs, a lot of PR. I was looking for something new and heard about an open freelance copywriting position here. It was something I had never really done before and I thought it would be a good challenge for me so I gave it a shot and now I’m here full time.

The view from Dan's desk.

What is your background in writing? Did you always know you wanted to write?
I was a huge film nerd growing up. I went to school for film making for the first two years. Halfway through I started getting into journalism and creative non-fiction writing and ended up majoring in journalism while still studying film. I always liked telling stories and finding different ways of doing it, whether it was writing, film making, whatever. It was something I always connected with and something I wanted to do. What I do now is basically help tell the story of the brand, season, and product..

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
At the beginning of every season I write a long story for it. No one ever really sees it, we just pull lines and ideas from it throughout the season. That’s something I’ve always enjoyed writing – there’s a lot of freedom with it and there’s no pressure or limit to what or how much I write. That’s where taglines for the season come from a lot of the time.

Part of the Summer 2012 story

Where do you find your inspiration?
There’s not just one thing I get inspiration from. I like watching movies, reading magazines, or reading short stories and novels. Even song lyrics are cool to look at sometimes. Another cool thing is listening to the way people talk, the way they have little idiosyncrasies. I think speech patterns are interesting. The way people talk is usually a lot more interesting than the way they write.

Dan's copy from AE Holiday 2011

What is a typical day like for you?
Reading a lot of e-mails from people requesting different lines of copy while making a lot of revisions. It’s really busy work but it’s really rewarding when you see the end result that has your words and your voice in it.

If you weren’t a copywriter at AE, what would you want to be doing?
I probably would still be writing in some way. I’ve always liked traveling and I love food so maybe I’d be a food writer or restaurant reviewer or a travel writer. That’s my favorite thing to do – go to new cities and try new foods and new restaurants.

A seafood boil at Tubby's Tank House in Savannah, GA

Where are your favorite places to travel?
Anywhere on the coast is awesome because I love seafood. Anywhere you can get a good seafood boil near the beach.

Do you have any cool hobbies or interests?
I like to golf, and I run as much as I can. I like movies, reading and weird pop culture stuff. I haven’t had a lot of time for hobbies lately though because I just bought a house, so I’ve been spending all my free time learning how to take care of it.

Dan, second to left, ran the Pittsburgh Marathon on a relay team with his sister, father, godfather, and friend in May

What is some of your favorite writing?
Nonfiction: Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson
Novel: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
Short Story: Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes by Raymond Carver
TV Show: Breaking Bad by Vince Gilligan
Film: Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet