New Campaign for USA Swimming Is Advertising Gold

Colle+McVoy’s new work for USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, is meant to inspire more kids to take up the sport and make it easier for parents to find clubs, pools and lessons.

To do that, the agency needed to make swimming cool. I’d say they won that race on the strength of high-def camera work, the music bed and copy that connects.

“Basketball. Softball. Cannonball. Which sounds the most fun to you?”

Adpulp asked Mike Caguin, chief creative officer of Colle+McVoy about the campaign.

Q. Slow motion is popular right now. Is there a reason you chose this camera technique? Does it increase tension or interest?

A. Being in the water is so different than anything else. We used slow motion to capture that unique feeling. With its fluid forms, waves and bubbles, water is stunningly beautiful to the eye. Slow motion helped us romanticize that even more.

Q. I like the music. Who is the artist?

A. A Minneapolis hip-hop producer named Benzilla partnered with us on the music track for “The Walk”. The Skeptics supplied the music for “Cannonball” and “Alligator”.

Q. Swimming is an individual and a team sport. How did this play, or did it play, in the development of the work?

A. It’s true. The beauty of competitive swimming is that it is both an individual and team sport, which is why we struck a balance with our work. Some messages are clearly speaking to the individual aspect of the sport, while other messages are meant to highlight the social and team aspects of swimming.

Q. I like that this campaign didn’t go to the “be a future Olympian” de facto place and instead focuses on the everyday experience of summer time at the pool.

A. Exactly. The research shows what any parent who’s stayed in a hotel knows that swimming and swimming pools create fun, lasting moments for kids. There’s something magical and transformative about being in the water. Why not give your kids even more of those moments by signing them up for a swim team?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.