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Liquid Billboard

adidas

Issue 60 | September 2021

Agency

Havas Middle East

Creative Team

General Manager Fabio Silveira Executive Creative Director Joao Medeiros Associate Creative Director Anshuman Bhattachary Art Directors Rodrigo Nakaza, Jonathan Cruz

Production Team

Director of Production (Jack Morton) Claire Butler Associate Creative Producer (Jack Morton) Ruth Newman Project Assistant (Jack Morton) George Gordon

Other Credits

Content Manager Moataz Safar Head of Growth Carlos Nadal Account Manager Justine Dib Head of Social Media Alessandro Candotti

Date

June 2021

Background

Globally, 32% of women don’t feel comfortable swimming in public. In the Middle East, that number is 88%. adidas wanted to launch its more conservative and inclusive range of swimwear for women and encourage more women to pursue aquatic sports.

Idea

At one of the most visited beaches of the region, adidas turned women in Dubai into ambassadors for its new wider range of technical apparel. The Liquid Billboard was the world’s first billboard that women could actually swim in. It encouraged women of all shapes, ethnicities, religions and abilities to break down the barriers holding them back by diving into the billboard and becoming part of the global conversation. Those who dived into the billboard included adidas ambassador and amputee triathlete Dareen Barbar and Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi Arabian female to climb Mount Everest.

Results

For the first time, women who had only seen athletes and models on billboards saw themselves celebrated the same way. Within a week, the billboard started a global conversation about inclusivity in swimming across more than 50 countries. 295 million total reach, $1.35 million earned media in over 50 countries across 6 continents.

Our Thoughts

Nine times out of ten at Directory we have to take the agency’s word for it that their particular campaign achieved zillions of media impressions and was viewed around the world. In this instance it has been hard to avoid it. We had seen it in several major news sites before it began to pop up on advertising pages and was sent to us. The smart part of the idea was in streaming footage of the athletes in the fish tank direct to a large screen by the adidas’ flagship store in Dubai Mall, thus extending the stunt and reaching people at precisely the right place to consider buying a new and suitably modest cozzie.

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