creative impulse

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The Independent Online
In a new pounds 1m print campaign for Speedo swimwear, Grey has enlisted the help of top swimmers Alex Bennett and Nick Gillingham to highlight the benefits of swimming. The first execution shows Bennett underwater, in a foetal position, and the text informs us that "Speedo engineer their suits to give maximum flexibility, making swimming as relaxing and stress- free as the day you were born." A second features Gillingham swimming in an air bubble, with text that claims: "Our bodies couldn't be more at home in water. Unless, of course, they're wearing Speedo." The spots are appearing in specialist sports and general interest magazines.

The client: Speedo International

Mark Hammersley, president

In the UK we're known as a brand associated with the Olympics, competition and hard-edged things like that. That can produce a good trickle-down effect, making us an aspirational brand, but it's intimidating for some as well. We wanted a campaign that would be an antidote to that, and that would speak to people who aren't going out to do their personal best.

We wanted to talk about how good water feels, which came out of research we'd done where respondents talked about the feeling of freedom that water gave them. We decided to capitalise on that, and present ourselves as a brand that, above all other sports brands, understands water.

The agency: Grey Communications

Kay Truelove, copywriter

We wanted to say that you don't have to be a top-class swimmer to wear this make, by showing that its design can benefit any swimmer. Swimming in a Speedo costume is actually better for you than swimming without your clothes on, and will make the experience more pleasurable.

We used two Olympic swimmers - rather than models - because we wanted people who would look completely relaxed in water. However, we didn't name them in the ads, so as not to reintroduce the competitive element that we wanted to lose.

Speedo feels it is at the top, with no real competition, and so felt it could take this opportunity to show people how being in water can relax you in a stressful world. What the ads are saying is that no matter how often or how seriously you swim - whether it's every week at the local pool or once a year when you go on holiday - if you do it in a Speedo swimsuit, you'll be really at one with water. This moves us on from the competitive stuff we've done before, but enables us to keep our old end- line "Speedo. Born in the water"n