Stab Magazine | Attempting To Understand The New WSL Campaign

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Attempting To Understand The New WSL Campaign

Do you even? 

news // Mar 10, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Big orange letters, inspirational texts served with a funky, or hard hitting backbeat–DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND? The WSL’s dropped their 2017 “It Takes A Tour To Make A Title” campaign. The whole thing is in your face, and familiar (you can watch them all here). Ever seen a #truth campaign ad? BE THE GENERATION THAT ENDS SMOKING! They’re a lot like that.

It’d be tempting to write off the latest, lesser quality pre-Snapper campaign as a stand-in for broader issues inside the WSL, but instead, let’s take a look at the campaigns of yesteryear. And it should be noted, that the “It Takes A Tour To Make A Title” is a product of their in-house creative team, while the “You Can’t Script This” of 2015/2016, and last year’s “Beach Breaks” we’re collaborative works with contracted agencies. Another highlight was “The Snail”, produced by Samsung as a proud sponsor of the WSL.

Let’s dissect: 
“You Can’t Script This” came to fruition following the great Mick Fanning, Jeffrey’s Bay Great White debacle of 2015. Just in time for the drama filled Pipe Masters of 2015: Owen Wright’s traumatic head injury, Mick Fanning’s brother’s death days before the finals, Gabriel Medina icing Mick in the semis with a criticised rotation–culling the thought that you can’t win at Pipe doing airs–which allowed Adriano de Souza to take the title and Kelly Slater to drop his wave pool the next morning. Their “Chaos Theory” was a depiction of the wind and swell coming together and competitive surfing succumbing to the phenom that is the ocean–the message was clear, and the narrative, well executed.

Riding along with “You Can’t Script This” the WSL released their “Beach Break” series, where they did self-deprecating humour surprisingly well. They analysed why Hawaiians are separate from the US, what Nat Young and Kolohe Andino are talking about during slow heats, and what’s going on with the delay in scores (Pickles). They took a jab at themselves and it was good clean family fun; we laughed.

And then, my personal favourite, “The Snail”. The story of a young boy named Ajiss from India. This was produced by Samsung, directed by AG Rojas who has been behind music videos for Run The Jewels, Portugal the Man, Spiritualized, Diplo and Skrillex as well as similarly dramatised shorts for Nike, Gatorade, Duracell, Reebok, Audi and more. It’s a tale of inspiration about cutting from the pattern and getting into the ocean. The only questionable particular being that everyone in the third world locale owned a Samsung Galaxy. It was their black truffle, expensive with savoured emotion rarely unobtained in a WSL associated, or any surf advert for that matter. 

As we are only looking into the past few years, where the webcast and general production of the WSL has advanced immensely, it’s curious that their most recent campaign is a step back from the thought provoking, emotionally balanced advertorials from 2015/2016. Or maybe it’s a sans Samsung backing preview. And yeah, it’s just a hype for the upcoming season, but does anyone else feel like they’re being attacked in a strange, positive fashion? 


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