Born in 2003 from the needs of hardy British surfers, Finisterre designs functional and sustainable product for those that share a love of the sea.

The team at Finisterre wanted to run a pride campaign that went beyond corporate ‘Rainbow washing’.
They recognised that the Surf industry has a “Toxic masculinity” problem – and the LGBTQIA+ community has faced challenges because of this. After initially approaching Queer Surf Club (QSC), we were introduced to help create a Pride campaign that celebrates the humans blazing new trails, and demonstrate how we are all better off when everyone is welcome.
The brief: Let’s take an industry that has shunned difference and show it how diversity makes us all better.
Working with Finisterre and QSC, Distil created a campaign concept with activations across web, video, store signage & windows, community activations, social assets and email broadcasts.

A Simple Hook

Distil initiated several workshops with the Finisterre, conducted community research and consulted with key figures of the queer surf community before finally landing on ‘Only Love In The Lineup’ as the overarching campaign line which was accompanied by a brand statement of intent.

Engaging A Community

Queer Surf Club (QSC) is a global community of LGBTQIA+ surfers (and their allies) on a mission to make surfing more inclusive. We worked closely with Finisterre and QSC to ensure that the best possible representation was achieved in all campaign activations.

We created and facilitated a number of collaboration opportunities, making sure QSC participants were remunerated, and that careful communication between all parties maintained. This ensured the creative was genuine and built foundations for a long-standing collaborative relationship between the brand and the community group.

Authentic Story Telling

The campaign’s success hinged upon finding authentic ways to connect and support the LGBTQIA+ community within surf and blue spaces. This included launching a community census, creating an internal FAQ for Finisterre staff and an article on Queer allyship as well as curated creative writing from Queer Surf Club (QSC) members, and long-form editorials featuring the stories of QSC members.

All of these outputs were shared via a dedicated area of the Finisterre site and through various takeovers of their Sunday Broadcast email.

Pride T-Shirt Competition

Early on in the campaign, we launched a T-shirt competition with Finisterre to raise funds for QSC. The team and QSC community members were excited, however upon launch a number of pivots had to be made.
The Finisterre community responded negatively to the terms of the t-shirt competition. Finisterre and Distil worked with QSC to consult with the illustrator community and change direction, which received much positive feedback from both the illustrators and industry commentators.
The careful moderation and articulation of intent in the campaign creative was fully collaborative, and its genuine approach was equally well received by the LGBTQIA+ community. The final outcome was a commissioned piece by an LGBTQIA+ illustrator that is now available to buy online.