Nivea 'Dare To Dip' campaign: Case Study

In May 2013 Nivea challenged woman to take part in a spectacular open air dip in Covent Garden, London using our 'AquaTheatre' tank. Tickets sold out in less than 24 hours and the campaign reached over 70,000 people.

Members of the general public were invited to take a dip in our tank throughout the day, with the fantastic 'Aquabatique' providing regular hourly synchronized swimming displays.


Creative agency Jack Morton contacted us with an unusual requirement; a giant tank to be situated in Covent Garden for a public display, but with a twist... The entertainment in the tank, would be provided by members of the public themselves. This was to become one of the most complex and demanding 'pop-up' activation's attempted in such a busy pedestrianised central London space.

The 2 day event would require rigging within 24 hours, and de-rigging in just 12. Over 300 members of the public would take a dip in the tank.

Following the initial activation in Covent Garden, we were also asked to transform a skip into a hot tub, to allow the 'Dare to Dip' campaign to operate pop-up displays across the UK & Europe.

Uneven cobbled ground

Tank Arrives on Site
Nivea Event - London
Nivea Dip Skip
Nivea Dip Skip

We were tasked with the challenge of situating our 30 tonne tank at the East Piazza in Covent Garden. Access was severely limited as only one truck could access the area at a time, and the tank needed to be positioned and rigged in just one night.

To ensure that the cobbles and our tank were not damaged, we designed a base to prevent uneven pressure and to ensure the tank was perfectly level. Once the base was in position the AquaTheatre tank was lifted and precisely positioned onto the base using our HIAB crane equipped delivery truck.

Mobile filtration for 300 swimmers

Our giant tank is used for many events around the World, but this was the first time the public had been invited in such large numbers to use the tank, essentially, as a public pool (albeit one with see through sides). And although the tank is huge in 'tank' terms, compared to most swimming pools, it's really quite small. So, how did we keep the water clean and safe throughout? We took a two fold approach. First, we built a customised walk through shower on the approach to the tank. Secondly, we put together several of our modular filter systems to recirculate and clean an incredible 160,000 litres of water per hour.

The filter system was composed of 3 large sand filters, 4 large pumps, 2 heaters (the water was a cosy 32 degrees!) and a very large UV steriliser. It is worth considering the volume of water that was filtered each hour was equivalent to the entire tank volume 8 times over.

A Customised Shower?

As the project progressed our client expressed an interest in a customised 'Nivea' shower. It had already been agreed that before and after swim shower facilities should be provided, but renting a standard mobile shower unit felt like a sacrifice in the face of the attention to detail lavished on the rest of the stand. So we drafted a basic visual of a shower that we could build. A fortnight later, with a few design changes by the client, the shower was completed and tested.

Building a shower like this is a little outside our normal scope of works, but we have many years of experience with water, and in particular of underwater and 'wet' set design. So building a functional and brand focused shower unit, was well within our capabilities. The end result was unusual, striking, but clearly Nivea, and worked perfectly - not only in Covent Garden, but around Europe and the UK for the subsequent 'Dip Skip' activations that formed the latter part of the campaign.

Dip Skip

The brief required a large skip to be mounted on a trailer, and lined so as to become watertight, and then plumbed with a bespoke filter and heater system - it was a skip, but it had to be comfortable, warm and clean!

The modification of the skip, trailer and general nuts and bolts fabrication was carried out by GTMS in Waterlooville. We were asked to work alongside GTMS and to design & build a filter system that would fit within the trailer, and circulate heated, clear water through the skip. The display rig was going to tour Europe and the UK so needed to be reliable and very simple to maintain. The finished product, as the images show, was on brand, effective and quite simply 'the comfiest' skip you are ever likely to encounter!

From concept to delivery

From an early project meeting held in the AquaTheatre (quite literally, in swimwear, in the tank at our premises..) to detailed CAD drawings exchanged with other key suppliers to ensure a seamless build to a very tight deadline, we worked with the client through every stage of the process. By working so closely we could design elegant and effective solutions to challenges in the brief that were identified early on.

Using our previous knowledge of working in hard to access sites and over uneven surfaces we could design an easy to build and reliable solution for the tank base whilst working with the clients brief of having the Aquatheatre raised 1m from the ground.

With careful planning and preparation our highly skilled HIAB operators were able to carefully position our 6 metre long tank atop the stand within the tight space of the piazza.

We used Nivea RAL codes to brand the AquaTheatre and Shower to ensure that our equipment looked like it belonged with the brand.

The event was a huge success with a massive press coverage. The AquaTheatre is always guaranteed to draw a crowd, wherever in the World it goes.