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Ad of the Day: GoPro's Killer New Video Is About Sharing, Not Just Surfing


For years, GoPro has been synonymous with helmet-cam footage of skydiving, surfing, heli-skiing and other extreme activities that most of us prefer to enjoy by proxy while browsing YouTube and eating a cruller.

But as the technology and innovation behind the camera have evolved, so too has the company's marketing strategy. And you don't have to look any further than this new ad for the GoPro smartphone app to see how a once-quirky outdoor gadget has become a leading millennial lifestyle brand.

The two-minute clip, shot entirely on a GoPro HD Hero3 camera in the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia, features three popular pro surfers—Alana Blanchard, Lakey Peterson and Camille Brady—not only recording their day on the waves but sharing stills from the Hero3 directly to Instagram right from the beach. Instead of a tool for creating raw first-person video footage, GoPro is portrayed as the key to taking a super-selfie.

Justin Wilkenfeld, GoPro's director of lifestyle marketing, tells Adweek that these features showcase how the brand has kept pace with modern life. Outdoors enthusiasts don't just want to capture their experiences, they want to share them as quickly as possible. The brand's WiFi-enabled Hero3 and smartphone app, both of which launched last year, have helped make immediate sharing a reality.

"It was a bit of a frustration that you had to go back to your computer to download that footage," Wilkenfeld says. "There's something lost there because we are so real-time these days."

While the ad shows off GoPro's newest features, it also harkens back in some ways to the brand's early days. Before it was known for helmet-mounted cameras, GoPro was a wrist-mounted camera that surfer (and recent billionaire) Nicholas Woodman created to take 35mm photos of himself and friends.

Now, the camera has come full circle, with GoPro becoming known as a source for some of Instagram's most interesting photos, not just a tool for extreme YouTube clips.

"In the world of social media, you don't have to take two minutes or five minutes out of your time to watch the full video and get immersed in that moment. You can just take snapshots," Wilkenfeld says. "That's kinda the way of the world now—short-attention-span theater."

Meanwhile, GoPro is also trying to reach beyond its core audience of extreme athletes by highlighting the camera's versatility as a tool for capturing any kind of experience, not just crazy outdoor adventures.

"It's been a progression for us," Wilkenfeld says. "We definitely started in action sports, extreme sports, but we found that if you follow that line of passion, the average person is passionate about the moments in their life, too. That might be playing with their kids. We do try to embrace the broad community and the lifestyle those people try to live, regardless of what it is."

This ad, like all the brand's videos, was shot and produced entirely by the GoPro staff without any agency assistance. The soundtrack is "Riptide" by Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy.

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