The billboard, which took three weeks to build, was live for three days. Influencers, brand ambassadors and the media were invited to swim first. “After the press day, the liquid billboard was open to the public to take the ‘leap of faith,’ but this was for faith in our statement and solidarity with all women across the city,” says Medeiros.
One of the participants who dived in said, “Not once, while I was in the water, did I think about what I looked like, if people were judging me and my body—I was totally and completely out of my head and in the moment,” summing up the confidence and freedom Adidas wants to inspire, according to Medeiros.
The “Beyond the Surface” campaign is a part of Adidas’ broader initiative to create more space for women in sport, themed “Watch Us Move.”
“The current ‘Beyond the Surface’ campaign celebrates the power of water and its ability to defy restrictions, bring renewal and accept everyone unconditionally,” says Fabio Silveira, general manager of Havas Middle East. “Although this campaign may be wrapping up, the ‘Watch Us Move’ initiative to help more women step forward with confidence to express themselves through sport will certainly continue as a powerful platform.”
The Adidas effort reflects a broader movement in the Middle East to inspire Middle Eastern women to cultivate an interest in water sports. Nike’s “Victory Swim” from 2020, directed by Rattling Stick’s Sara Dunlop, is another example—a spot that was also connected to more inclusive swimwear collection.