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Client: Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen safety at sea

Nearly half of UK boaters don’t wear a lifejacket while out on the water

The Challenge

A survey commissioned by Helly Hansen revealed that UK boaters were not taking the right precautions while out on the water, and they believe experience and age are reasons to go without a suitable Personal Flotation Device (PFD). With many choosing to holiday in the UK this summer, technical sailing and outdoor clothing brand, Helly Hansen, wanted to educate the public on the importance of safety at sea and to start to change the perception that wearing a lifejacket is only for those less experienced or the younger generations, whilst also driving awareness of their ongoing partnership with the RNLI.

I’m thrilled with the way that ADPR has delivered on this latest campaign: from the creativity through to the delivery. More importantly, our charity partner is delighted with the content and outputs of the entire campaign. The creative elements that were developed will live on and be repurposed for some years to come helping us achieve the objective of saving lives at sea. Projects like these can be hugely complicated due to the different stakeholders and organisations involved, especially when a major pandemic is thrown your way – ADPR did a fantastic job at keeping all stakeholders abreast with the status of the project and results.

Emma Russell, Marketing Manager, Helly Hansen UK, Ireland & Benelux

The Solution

Taking a three-pronged approach, we first commissioned a survey which revealed the truths behind the habits of UK boaters – shocked by what was discovered, we worked in partnership with the RNLI to create “Lifejacket Stories” whereby we produced three films, two of which told the real-life story of those that had been rescued by the RNLI and the difference wearing a lifejacket made. The third followed a couple that embarked on a sailing trip around the UK who unknowingly at the time, both had faulty lifejackets, and wouldn’t have been able to use them if they were needed, highlighting the importance of lifejacket maintenance.

For the last section of the campaign, we wanted to create a photo opportunity that would grab the public and the media’s attention. To do so, we travelled the length and breadth of the UK placing custom-made lifejackets on famous landmark statues along our rivers and coastline to highlight the importance of wearing a lifejacket.

The Results

We went to six key locations across the country: London, Margate, Crosby, Whitby, Seahouses and Cork where we were joined by local photographers to help us capture the content needed for the campaign. Once we’d received the edited imagery, we shared the survey results, images of statues wearing lifejackets along with our three films to national, regional, and marine media along with national picture desks.

The results from this award-winning campaign were greater than we could’ve expected receiving broadcast, regional, lifestyle and marine coverage and producing beautiful first-person films for the RNLI to use and to help raise awareness of an incredibly important issue for years to come.

Will’s story:

Julian’s story:

Helen & Alex’s story:


We won an industry award for this campaign: Charity Partnership Fashion & Retail Award at the Charity Business Awards 2022. You can read more about it, here: 


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