The word's first 'Swimmable Billboard'

With sport playing an increasingly significant role in peoples’ lives, both on and off the field of play, adidas has launched a strategy to guide the business through to 2025. ‘Own the Game’ focuses on increasing brand credibility through cultural relevance, elevating the experience for consumers, and pushing the boundaries in sustainability. It also aims to deepen relationships with consumers, as well as activate adidas’ purpose ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives.’ We work with adidas across the entire comms mix, from global to local. 

A survey commissioned by adidas in 2021 revealed that only 12% of women in the United Arab Emirates are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shame and lack of privacy are the two main reasons behind the decline in women's confidence to get into the water. To complement the launch of adidas’ debut inclusive swimwear collection, we were tasked with encouraging more women to embrace the waters, regardless of their shape, ability, or religion, and benefit from the mental and physical benefits that come with it.  

To empower women, we needed to do so in a way that was inclusive and respected specific local needs. So, we created the ground-breaking ‘Liquid Billboard,’ a 5-metre high and 3-metre-deep swimming pool at one of Dubai’s most popular public beaches. Ladies were invited to participate by taking a dive “Beyond the Surface,” reinforcing the brand’s global attempt to ensure that sport is welcoming for all. Those who took the public dive into the liquid billboard included adidas ambassador and amputee triathlete Dareen Barbar who is also a Guinness World Records title holder as well as adidas ambassador Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi Arabian female to climb Mount Everest. To further amplify this historic moment, content from the liquid billboard was beamed directly onto digital screens above the Dubai Mall Ice Rink, next to the adidas flagship store, allowing shoppers and mallgoers to enjoy the experience.  

The results

This is a story of how we changed the conversation about inclusivity in water through media innovation.

We turned media from a place of stereotypes into an inclusivity icon.

We created the first-ever swimmable billboard.

We broke category conventions by featuring everyday women as the face of the brand.

We turned water from a symbol of restrictions into a symbol of liberation for women.

Reached 300+ million across 50 countries with $1.5million earned media.

Sold 70% of the line in 4 weeks.

And as a result more women in MENA feel comfortable in water, from only 12% to 36%.


Beyond the Surface

Launching adidas' new inclusive swimwear Collection with the world’s first swimmable billboard, designed to reach athletes and drive home the point that Adidas makes technical apparel for athletes everywhere.

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+44 20 3793 3800 tracey.barber@havas.com