The New Man -- And The Speedo


 One of the most hilarious things that ever happened to me during my years of covering the advertising industry -- and the Cannes Festival -- was that one year I found myself doing a live recap of the news and trends of the day, positioned in front of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, while my colleague recorded it on his camera for online content.

 We thought the ocean might provide a showstopper of a backdrop for the video.

What I didn’t realize was that as I stood there recapping, a very tanned, ancient French man, sporting only a sunhat and a tiny red Speedo -- as is the wont of many elderly men in the south of France -- provided his own showstopping performance.

He was walking back and forth behind me as I spoke, collecting seashells, bending down in the sand like a sumo wrestler and raising himself back up.



He was so focused on his work he had no idea his graphic squats were being captured on camera.

Watching it later, I certainly couldn’t focus on the topic at hand.

So, duh, I thought the classic Speedo micro-mankini-thong thing (avert your eyes!) was of European origin.

It’s only via this blazing new “Go Full Speedo” campaign from Miramar/LA, an Australian-owned U.S.-based agency, that I learned that Speedo is an Australian brand, and features all kinds of shorts. 

“Growing up in Bondi before moving to the U.S., Speedo was always more than just a swimwear brand—it was iconic for the people and the lifestyle it represented,” said Luke McKelvey, co-founder of Mirimar, in a release. “We love that this new platform can encompass everything from a kid jumping from the high board for the first time to an Olympic athlete breaking a world record.”

And this lively, colorful campaign featuring upbeat banger, tongue-in-cheek music by the Australian band The Beefs, sure lets its Aussie flag fly. 

It opens on a street in downtown Sydney, with (Australian) “Stranger Things” star Dacre Montgomery getting thrown to the street in his suit and tie, his attaché case sent whirling.  He picks himself up, dusts himself off and, naturally, strips down to his Speedo boxers. 

He picks up momentum, and a crowd, as he marches.

“You know,” the band sings, “A lot of people just tip their toe into this life thing, testing the waters, saying one day they’ll dive in. …Sure, you could just stop at a toe, but why do that, when you could go full Speedo?”

The introductory 90-second spot, directed by Scottie Cameron through Collider, shows that it takes a village of weird folk, with divergent looks and personalities, including the "Stranger Things" great, plus 68-year-old California skateboarding phenom Peggy Oki, and the stars of the TV show “Bondi Rescue," dressed in every type of Speedo, to become a true crowd, united under the “Go full Speedo” rallying cry, flexing and joking their way to the beach.

I like the woman who gets down in the sand to show us her perfect pushups form. The whole thing, including the cartoony snippets of schools of fish, has a very 1980s feel, suggesting Wayfarers along with the original Go-Gos, with everyone getting the beat.   That was a more innocent time, and there’s a childlike wonder and a friendly, goofy quality to the vibe.

Ads will run in the USA, U.K., Germany, France and Australia with media focusing on paid online video, influencer channels such as Meta and TikTok, and athlete-owned social channels. Mirimar produced three films—the “Go Full Speedo” launch film, “Towel Change,” and “What Do You Call Them”—along with various cutdowns.

The campaign also comes as part of a buildup to the summer Olympics in Paris, at the end of July, where Speedo athlete-ambassadors Emma McKeon, Adam Peaty, and Caeleb Dressel are expected to take part.

I get it. I’ve been reeducated. I’m on board for the board shorts, and of course, for going full Speedo.


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