“Earnest user stories without trying too hard to put an epic meaning to the brand. Made me want to swim.” —juror Natalie Lam
“The video stories were wonderful, and the site did a great job of letting those shine. Little details let you know the designer showed great restraint to keep it simple.” —juror Drew Ungvarsky
Overview: “Speedo is the brand for the Ryan Lochtes of the world, not a brand for me.” That was the brand perception that Speedo set out to change. Interactive design agency Hello created a website that features seventeen short films. At the heart of the site are real people—from a working professional who rediscovered swimming at the age of 29 to a young swimmer who dreams of making it to the Olympics—and their stories of being “fueled by water.”
•An immense amount of research—combing through trade publications, talking to people—was conducted to find each documentary’s subject.
•Fueled by Water videos have amassed more than half a million views.
Comments by David Lai:
What are the project’s core features? “Seventeen short films, featuring real people who are passionate about a wide range of water activities, are presented through an immersive online experience. To engage fans and cultivate social conversations around a love of the water, the Share Your Story section of the Fueled by Water site displays fans’ Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #fueledbywater. We also created a limited-edition book, Fueled by Water, to spark additional excitement on social media.”
What was the thinking behind the navigational structure? “The Fueled by Water website is completely video driven—even the navigation, which mirrors the content-centric nature of the campaign. An auto-play feature enables users to seamlessly transition from one mini documentary to the next, and videos loop in preview panels to provide sneak peeks of the short films before and after each story. The main navigation integrates video to enable users to preview, browse and jump to any mini documentary in the series.”
Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “In addition to identifying the right subjects, we leveraged a range of technologies to capture footage that would showcase each sport. We primarily used Red cameras, allowing us to shoot in 4K and 6K resolution. Nearly every mini documentary includes underwater shots, which required custom housings for our equipment. Despite the risk of leaking and damage, we used them to capture everything from deep-ocean divers to hard-kicking five-year-olds. We mounted gear onto underwater propulsion devices, mimicking dolly shots, and onto a custom heavy-lift octocopter to capture slow-motion overhead footage of a high dive.”