As the number one choice of elite swimmers worldwide, Speedo is known for racing; more Olympic Gold Medals have been won in Speedo than any other brand. But they also apply their innovation to make products for fitness and recreation, from water shoes to triathlon packs to snorkels to board shorts.
We set out for Speedo to strategically own the water—to express their passion for the water that translates into everything they make and do. We launched Fueled by Water, a brand campaign that included documentary short films, a website, a social contest, and outreach.
The love of water is elemental, and connects people in many ways, including sports and play. Swimming is also one of the rare sports that people can do for life, regardless of age or fitness ability. We captured this universal connection with water by finding authentic stories of people, from old to young, who are passionate about different water sports.
We directed 17 documentary films to tell these diverse stories, from Mark Cunningham, a world-renowned bodysurfer in Honolulu, to Ocean Ramsey, a freediver who researches sharks for their conservation; from Tara Tira, a professional cliff diver, to CJ Kanuha, a surfer who hand-shapes wooden surfboards the traditional Hawaiian way.
Mark Cunningham is a retired Honolulu lifeguard and true waterman who has been bodysurfing well over 40 years. He's an internationally respected icon of the sport who's still searching for the perfect wave.
Ocean Ramsey is a competitive free diver who can hold her breath for over six minutes. A marine biologist and researcher, Ocean swims with sharks to study them. Ocean is also a dive instructor who empowers her students to experience the full beauty of the ocean's ecosystem.
C.J. Kanuha is a pro surfer who lives in Kona, Hawaii. He's a proud member of the Kanuha family whose lineage can be traced back to the very first Hawaiians. C.J. still makes wooden boards in the traditional way as a tribute to his Hawaiian lineage and the true Aloha spirit.
To share these short films, we designed the website to provide a full screen, immersive viewing experience. With video at the center, the site automatically queues to play the next film in sequence, while a video-driven navigation allows users to preview, browse, and jump to any documentary they want.
Just telling these stories wasn’t enough—we wanted to celebrate the joy and freedom of water and get people to share their own stories. The campaign included a social contest that invited people to post stories showing their love of water with the chance to win Speedo gear. We curated inspirational Instagram and Twitter posts and featured them on the website to showcase the diverse range of water activities, from a day at the beach to kayaking to swimming in the rain to snorkeling.
We designed and printed a limited-edition Fueled by Water book that featured behind-the-scenes photography from each story. The books were used for outreach to connect with influencers and the media.
By featuring a diverse range of water activities, the campaign gave Speedo a way to showcase their products beyond swimsuits; Website users could browse and find products by activity and see the fitness and recreation areas that Speedo designs for, whether it’s surfing, guard, stand up paddleboarding, triathlon, water polo, or synchronized swimming.
Our media and social outreach got the attention of the surfing, paddle boarding, water polo, triathlon, and synchronized swimming communities, who were happy to share the inspirational films to encourage more engagement of their respective sports.
Through Fueled by Water, Speedo gained earned media in new categories and places, including USA Today, AOL, CNBC, Surfer Magazine, and SUP Connect. More importantly, the campaign drove 4 times more engagement on social media. Fueled by Water also won a Clio Sports Silver and Pixel Award.
— USA Today