P&G Canada’s Olay brand had become a sponsor of the Canadian Synchronized Swim Team, so when the Aquatics World Championships came to Montreal last month, the brand behemoth went into the Quebec marketplace with guns blazing. The partnership with the Synchro team was a propos for a skincare product: if it’s good enough for a bevvy of beauties who spend all day in chlorinated water, it’s good enough for me.
Saatchi & Saatchi came up with the creative — a close-up of each team member’s face in the water — and unleashed it in Quebec magazines, bus shelters and billboard trucks. Ryan Partnership Canada handled all in-store executions. And when it came to providing an eye-popping and experiential PR stunt, Gearwerx was called up to deliver a unique consumer experience. (Full disclosure: I am former CD and former president of the XM agency).
The result was a one-of-a-kind see-through mobile pool, which was transported from street fairs to malls in Montreal and Quebec City. The pool was large enough for 2 or 3 members of the national team to get in and perform their routines in front of hundreds and thousands of viewers at street level.
Because the pool is see-through, the vantage point for consumers is totally the opposite of the top-down camera view typical of TV coverage. Consumers could get so close to the action that they would be practically in the pool with the swimmers.
The pool also went grassroots, and provided aspiring swimmers and local clubs a chance to meet their heroes and get a motivating experience. The execution is a great example of activating a sponsorship with a unique experiential execution included in the overall mix.