Cannes Lions

Pool Kid


Case Film
Supporting Images






It’s a peaceful early morning at the pool. We hear only insects, the hum of the filter and a ripple as the lifeguard dips her hand.

A young boy with a shark fin strapped to his back makes his way through the empty sunbeds.

Suddenly, the tranquility is broken by a booming, energetic drum-and-bass soundtrack, prompting the boy to break out into a dance frenzy. “People say that I’m too loud… I party all the time!”

The action breaks when the boy makes eye contact with the lifeguard. Her playful glance tells him he doesn’t need her permission.

He breaks out more moves, first with the music, then without it — confirming the beats are all in his head. We hear the splash as he enters the water. He swims like a shark. He embodies the true spirit of a holiday in the sun. “Be Bold. You’re On Holiday.”


Our design approach was to contrast the realism of the pool scene vs. the music in the boy’s head.

Setting the mood at the beginning was key. The early morning sounds of the pool lapping, the filter humming and the umbrellas going up, are specific sounds that anyone who’s been on holiday will recognize. We wanted to make the sounds musically rhythmic as well as match the action. We used a lot of foley on footsteps, breath, etc.

The atmospheric sounds regress when we go inside the boy’s head and the music takes over — most noticeable when he sees the lifeguard and stops. Back in the real world there’s a little gust of wind and the patter of his wet footsteps.

We used the music stems to create sound design to hit our specific synch points. The noise of his highly individual swimming style took some time to achieve.


For Thomas Cook:

—Digital market share in the UK up 31%

—Brand searches are up 20%

—Social media brand mentions are up 451%

—New customer records are up 173%

—KPIs are up in all European markets

—300,000+ views on YouTube for “Pool Kid”

For the original song, “Be Bold” by Tam Cooper:

—50,000+ Shazams

—Reached number 13 in the UK iTunes chart

—Reached number 7 in the Shazam chart

—Reached number 1 in the Spotify chart

—Sony bought the rights for the song and plans a summer release and an extended video

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