Havas Middle East and adidas have built the world’s first swimmable billboard. It was erected in Dubai on June 24 to promote the brand’s inclusive swimwear collection.
The stunt follows a YouGov survey commissioned by adidas in 2021 reveals that only 12 percent 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 women do not feel comfortable in their swimsuits.
The activation, a massive billboard-shaped swimming pool set up in one of Dubai’s most popular public beaches is five metres high and three metres deep. The billboard could fit approximately 3,319 adidas shoe boxes in it and is made of reinforced transparent acrylic. It can hold 11,500 gallons of water, equivalent to nearly 163 bathtubs and the structure took a team of 32 people working around the clock for three weeks to build.
Women in Dubai were invited to take a public “leap” of faith and dive Beyond the Surface, reinforcing the brand’s global attempt to make swimming a sport that is welcoming for all. Those who did included adidas ambassador and amputee triathlete, Dareen Barbar, who is also a Guinness World Records title holder and adidas ambassador, Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi Arabian female to climb Mount Everest. The event was also screened directly onto a digital screen above the Dubai Mall Ice Rink, next to the adidas flagship store.
Amrith Gopinath, senior brand director adidas GCC, stated, “Our belief is that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water, hence the recent launch of our diversified product offering for all women and our Burkini Collection. Each piece is also carefully crafted to ensure that additional fabric does not reduce a swimmer’s ability to move in the water. The range went through a detailed testing process with consumer groups across multiple regions to help find the perfect balance of fit, features, performance and coverage.”