To Promote Sport Inclusivity, Adidas Unveils World’s First Swimmable Billboard!
Adidas, in a revolutionary move, has launched the world’s first-ever liquid billboard at one of Dubai’s most attractive tourist beaches – the Kite beach.
This move came as a promotion for Adidas’s launch of its new collection of accessible swimwear. This swimmable billboard is also an attempt on part of the company to live up to its oath of breaking sport taboos and creating inclusivity for women.
The liquid billboard was erected on the beach, right in the sand, after which, the company encouraged women to dive in.
‘Watch Us Move,’ a 2021 roadmap launched earlier this year, promises to overcome sport taboos through modernizing Adidas’ product offering and services.
Adidas introduced performance tights as a method to reinvent its product offering and services to better meet the requirements of its varied female community after discovering that adolescent girls were dropping out of sport at an alarming rate, with one of the main reasons being fear of period leaking.
In fact, it is important to take note of the fact that, in UAE, Only 12% of women feel fully at ease wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool, with body shame and a lack of privacy being the two most common causes for women’s discomfort in their swimwear.
Also, 59 percent of UAE women aged 18 to 42 feel the media portrays female swimmers in an unachievable body ideal.
It is in wake of such statistics, that Adidas decided to sponsor a survey by YouGov, as part of its wider “Watch Us Move” campaign, to get an even understanding of the physical, emotional, and cultural hurdles to sports participation.
When the study revealed the hurdles that hinder women from participating in swimming, the mega sports company decided to create a line of swimwear based on community involvement.
Joao Medeiros, executive creative director at Havas Middle East, in an interview, said that the concept of a liquid billboard was born to literally give women a spirit of independence and freedom.
Fabio Silviera, general manager at Havas Middle East, said –
“Of the three ideas pitched, the swimming billboard was the one that Adidas immediately bought into. They were fully supportive, which made us believe that OK, we can pull this off. “
The swimming pool billboard is five meters high and three meters deep, and it is made of strengthened transparent acrylic and holds 11,500 gallons of water (the equivalent of 163 bathtubs). The crew put a camera inside the pool to broadcast live footage to the city’s largest digital display, allowing a broader audience to see the action.
Giovanna Altomare, marketing operations manager at Adidas said –
“We loved the creative idea because our whole point was to inspire the women in Dubai (and hopefully all around the world) to take a leap of faith and embrace the water.”
He further commented on the swimmable billboard –
“So the idea of this billboard that has real women swimming inside, showcasing the movement of the water in front of people in a public space, was really driving our objective.”
Women of Dubai were asked to join in a dive “beyond the surface” to reaffirm the brand’s global effort to guarantee that sport is inviting to everyone.
Adidas ambassador and amputee triathlete Dareen Barbar, who is also a Guinness world record holder, and Adidas ambassador Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi Arabian female to climb Mount Everest, were among the inspiring women who made the public plunge into the liquid billboard.
The content from the liquid billboard was shown live on a digital screen above the famed Dubai Mall ice rink, close to the Adidas flagship store, allowing customers and mallgoers to participate in the experience.
In a conservative landscape like the UAE, such a swimmable billboard is more than just an ad – it symbolizes the need for inclusivity in sports and otherwise for women.
- Neha Shah
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