In one of the better examples we’ve seen of a company in the paddling space using social media to spread their word, S20 Designs, led by former Olympic slalom kayaker Scott Shipley, takes the click-bait cake with its campaign promoting whitewater parks.
The campaign features little snippets of whitewater parks showing up where you least expect them, from street crosswalks to baggage claims, all promoting urban boating.
“The opportunity existed to prompt and influence conversations regarding how cities and towns are turning to whitewater parks in effort to renovate their local rivers and create an asset that contributes to the economy and quality of life,” says Tim Braun of PR and marketing agency B2 Inc., which spearheaded the project. “Today, you don’t have to be in the middle of the wilderness to find good waves, and you can do it over lunch. At the same time, our goal was to elevate awareness of S2O Design and Engineering, the company leading whitewater park design in the U.S. and internationally.”
On the heels of developing whitewater parks in Eagle, Canon City and Ft. Collins, Colo., S20 is also currently designing a new recirculating whitewater park in Montgomery, Ala., similar to the RiverSports Whitewater Center it developed in Oklahoma City, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center Shipley worked on in Charlotte, N.C. The craze is booming, and, as the social campaign suggests, is riding a wave of urban popularity.
“Whitewater parks are about access and lifestyle,” adds Braun. “Photos of a brightly colored kayak in a splash of frothy whitewater are great, but also common. For this campaign we took a different approach to the messaging. To help the brand stand out, we chose to be more subtle, focusing on typical urban wayfinding to convey how whitewater can still be part of everyday life, even when you live in a city.”
“It’s different enough,” he adds, “that when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and there’s a usually familiar crosswalk sign but with a kayaker, it makes you stop to see what the heck it’s about.”
“The response has been really positive,” says Braun. “S2O Design has received inquiries about their services, with prospects mentioning the campaign.”
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