Ad of the Day: USA Swimming’s Fun Ad Shows Today’s Greats When They Were Kids

Home-video footage of Franklin, Phelps, Lochte and more

Olympians Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky appear in this Colle+McVoy commercial for USA Swimming, the sport's national governing body.

But you might not recognize them at first.

That's because the 60-second spot, part of the larger #SwimUnited campaign, employs mostly years-old home-video footage, showing the athletes as kids splashing around in pools or competing at school swim meets, long before they became champions.

The spot bends time by juxtaposing scenes of the stars as enthusiastic but at times awkward beginners with calls of their recent exploits by modern-day announcers.

The approach recalls Gatorade's campaign with younger versions of Serena Williams and Usain Bolt motivating their older selves to dig down deep and stay focused on winning.

Here, though, the message is more nuanced. The past and present versions of the celebrated swimmers (currently engaged in time trials for the Rio Games) invite us to dive in and join them, floating the notion of a future filled with fitness and fun, and reassuring newbies there's no shame in flailing around the shallow end while getting up to speed.


Client: USA Swimming

Agency: Colle+McVoy

Editing: Aaron Nelson, Ditch Edit

Music: Marmoset Music

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: June 29, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT