afaqs! news bureau

You can swim in this Adidas billboard on a Dubai beach, no really

Installed by Havas Middle East, it celebrates the launch of the brand’s inclusive swimwear line.

There are billboards and then there are billboards. Adidas seems to have pulled the latter on us. On a beach in Dubai, the global sports and apparel giant has installed a billboard in which you can go for a swim, no kidding.

You can swim in this Adidas billboard on a Dubai beach, no really

But why do it? The one line answer is that Adidas wants to celebrate the launch of its inclusive swimwear line. But like all good stories, there’s a bit more depth to swim through.

The sportswear giant had commissioned YouGov to do a survey. The results revealed that only 12 per cent of women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shaming and lack of privacy are the two main reasons for the women to feel uncomfortable in their swimsuits.

Amrith Gopinath, senior brand director, Adidas GCC, said, “Our belief is that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water, hence the recent launch of our diversified product offering for all women and our Burkini Collection.

“Each piece is also carefully crafted to ensure that additional fabric does not reduce a swimmer’s ability to move in the water. The range went through a detailed testing process with consumer groups across multiple regions to help find the perfect balance of fit, features, performance and coverage,” he added.

Women in Dubai were invited to take a public “leap” of faith and participate by taking a dive “Beyond the Surface”, reinforcing the brand’s global attempt to ensure that sport is welcoming for all.

Those who took the public dive into the liquid billboard included Adidas ambassador and amputee triathlete Dareen Barbar, who is also a Guinness World Record holder, as well as Adidas ambassador Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi Arabian female to climb Mount Everest.

To further amplify this historic moment, content from the liquid billboard was beamed directly on to a digital screen above the Dubai Mall Ice Rink, next to the Adidas flagship store. This allowed the shoppers and mall-goers to enjoy the experience.

About this activation: It is a five-metre high and three metres deep swimming pool. The liquid billboard can fit around 3,319 Adidas shoe boxes and is made of reinforced transparent acrylic. Its walls can hold a whopping 11,500 gallons of water, equivalent to nearly 163 bathtubs. The structure took a team of 32 people, who worked around the clock for three weeks, to build.

Post-activation, Adidas released an ilm that is fronted by Sudanese-British spoken word-poet and sport inclusivity activist Asma Elbadawi celebrating the same theme.

You can swim in this Adidas billboard on a Dubai beach, no really

This billboard took us over a decade back to 2007, when a billboard for the climate apocalyptic movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ was submerged in the ocean to shine light on the climate crisis.