Debut campaign celebrates boaters from all backgrounds in an open invitation to explore life in, on, and underwater
Discover Boating, powered by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), the leading recreational boating manufacturer and retailer industry trade groups representing the $45 billion marine industry, has teamed up with creative and media agency Cutwater, with offices in San Francisco and New York City, to launch a campaign honoring the next generation of boaters.
With the surge in demand for boating, the recreational boating community has seen an increase in participation by younger, more diverse audiences from all backgrounds. Recognizing these evolving interests and needs, Discover Boating partnered with Cutwater to capture the joy, freedom, and inclusivity of life on the water, while amplifying the relevancy as well as signaling the future of boating. Spearheaded by Cutwater Founder and CCO Chuck McBride along with Executive Creative Director John Norman, the campaign, titled “See You Out Here”, invites long-time, new, and prospective boaters to join life on, in, and under the water in a unifying voice. Rooted in extensive segmentation and mindset research, with MRI-Simmons and ZMET respectively, it includes an original content library anchored by an exhilarating brand anthem film and the real stories of passionate boaters turned brand ambassadors throughout the country.
The authentic, moving narratives feature each brand ambassador’s unique history and relationship with boating, all of whom reflect the next generation of boaters identified in Discover Boating’s research. “Hooked” spotlights Khristian Rousseve, the first Black student athlete in Louisiana to receive a scholarship for bass fishing. “Captain Jana” chronicles licensed captain Jana Zontek and her wife, Cindy, finding a shared love and appreciation for life on the water. “Depth of Field” takes a glimpse at the adventures of Andy Mann, an award-winning National Geographic photographer committed to marine conservation.
The pieces were directed by Founder Anson Fogel of Camp4 Collective (behind Apple’s Emmy Award-nominated “Shot on iPhone XS – Don’t Mess With Mother”). Editorial was led by Kenji Yamauchi from Lost Planet, which is founded by three-time Academy Award nominee (most recently in “Best Film Editing” for Don’t Look Up) Hank Corwin.
“My father was an avid boater, so I grew up out on the water. Most of my best childhood memories involve boathouses, docks, and the rush of taking a ride, full blast, skimming across the morning’s smooth, glassy surface. The wind on my face and a huge grin on it too. To be helping Discover Boating reach a new generation of boaters is a dream project, really. I mean, the name Cutwater comes from a boat,“ explains McBride. “Our task was to welcome and invite the millions of Americans who are getting into outdoor recreation right now and make boating a really fun lifestyle choice for even those who didn’t necessarily grow up with it, while joining in with those already out here on the water. Our insights brought us a simple fact: boating is a verb. The boat is a vehicle to an experience. So we wanted to focus on the stories about where you will go, do, the people you’ll share it with, and how it’s going to feel. Not the fiberglass.”
NMMA Vice President of North American Marketing Kevin Williams adds, “Together with Cutwater, we created this campaign as an invitation to the next generation of boaters by sharing the fun, freedom, inclusivity, and sense of community unique to life on the water. Through this campaign and the compelling stories of Khris, Jana, Cindy and Andy, we are talking to people who may not have historically seen themselves in boating but are excited by where a boat can take you, the adventures to be had, and the memories to be made.”
The media strategy boasts a robust buy across TV, digital, and social media channels as well as partnerships with the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, VICE, ESPN, Ebony, and Telemundo. The work marks the first campaign following NMMA’s appointment of Cutwater as its creative and media agency of record along with Discover Boating’s rebrand and digital transformation. The refreshed visual identity was also co-developed by Cutwater. The revamped website has already attracted more than 5 million unique visitors, a significant milestone in the brand’s rich history.
According to Cutwater Principal and President Christian Hughes, “From beginning to end, the NMMA and Discover Boating teams were the perfect collaborators. They fully supported our creative and media strategy in bringing this vision to life. The final content library, especially the personal narratives of Khristian, Jana and Cindy, as well as Andy, resonate with boaters of all experience levels. We look forward to seeing the next generation of boaters on the water.”
NMMA Chief Brand Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ellen Bradley says, “We presented Cutwater with a challenge of telling the story of an entire industry and the unique, personal experiences boating creates across a wide spectrum of demographics. That meant not focusing on the product, in this case the boats—since our industry produces many types of boats from pontoons to fishing boats to yachts and everything in between—and instead focusing on the special moments, feelings, and freedoms only boating delivers, and doing so in a way that captures the hearts of our diverse customers.”
By the fourth quarter of 2022, NMMA’s 13 consumer boat and sport shows across the U.S. will fully integrate the Discover Boating brand. In February 2022, the Miami International Boat Show, owned by NMMA and produced by Informa Markets, changed its name to the Discover Boating® Miami International Boat Show®. Additionally, in the coming year, hundreds of retailers and manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada will feature Discover Boating’s new content across their own channels and marketing collateral to amplify a consistent voice across the recreational boating industry.
Brand: Discover Boating
Chief Brand Officer: Ellen Bradley
Vice President of Marketing: Kevin Williams
Brand Strategy Consultant: Patricia Swindle
Chief Creative Officer: Chuck McBride
Executive Creative Director: John Norman
Executive Producer: Brooke Hopkins
Art Director: Kyle Morais
Senior Art Director: Chris Cavalieri
Senior Copywriter: Russell Dodson
Group Account Director: Sandy Laliberte
Director of Media: Lizzy Ryan
Executive Strategy Director: Ilana Bryant
Production Company: Camp4 Collective
Director: Anson Fogel
Executive / Line Producer and Casting Director: Michelle Wang
Director of Photography: Ben Sturgulewski
Underwater DP: Andy Mann
Photographer: Will Saunders
Post-Production: Lost Planet
Executive Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
Editor: Kenji Yamauchi
Editor – Ambassador Docs: Rachel Butler
Facebook: Discover Boating
Cutwater is an independent creative and media agency with offices in San Francisco and New York City. Headed by advertising thought leaders, Founder / CCO Chuck McBride and Principal / President Christian Hughes, the agency prides itself on building distinctive campaigns for challenger and legacy brands alike. These have included the likes of Google, Russell Stover, Brawny, Jeep, Ray-Ban, and more. https://www.cutwateragency.com/
About Discover Boating:
Discover Boating is the North American recreational boating industry’s consumer-facing brand focused on engaging and supporting the next generation of boaters, the recent influx of new boaters, and long-time boat owners. Discover Boating helps you get on the water and enjoy the unique experiences only boating can provide. From inclusive resources, tips and lifestyle content to the stories of real boaters, we help make getting started in boating accessible and fun. Learn more at DiscoverBoating.com and @DiscoverBoating on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at www.nmma.org and get engaged with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the retail organizations that interact with the boaters in their community must thrive. With that in mind, MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those retailers, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit MRAA.com.