Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Decathlon pioneers natural rubber alternative to neoprene wetsuit in inventive campaign

LONDON, UK — Sporting goods retailer Decathlon has taken an inventive approach to launch the revolutionary Yulex100, the first and currently only alternative to neoprene made from 100% certified natural rubber. Developed by creative agency AMV BBDO, the campaign “hacked surf cams” worldwide to speak directly to the water sports community.

The creative agency shot most of the campaign on existing cameras located at key surf spots worldwide, providing essential live information on tides and conditions to water sports enthusiasts. The 60’’ film opens with a series of live feeds from surf cams. Suddenly, people appear in the frames holding up signs to the cameras. Each sign was created from objects found on or associated with the beach, such as paddles, surfboards, driftwood, parasols, and big letters written in the sand. When stitched together, the signs announce the launch of the new Yulex100 wetsuit.

For decades, watersports lovers had no alternative but to use neoprene wetsuits, despite their environmental impact. Alternatives to neoprene do exist on the market, such as wetsuits made from 85% natural rubber and 15% synthetic rubber, however Decathlon partnered with American-based company, Yulex, to push those boundaries further.


After two years of rigorous research, including over 50 lab tests and 50 different formulas, the company has produced the first neoprene alternative entirely free of synthetic rubber, sourced exclusively from PEFC or FSC certified forests.

The first and only alternative to neoprene made from 100% certified natural rubber, Yulex100 will be initially introduced in Decathlon’s beginner junior shorty range, which accounted for 34% of the surf wetsuits sales in 2023, and in the snorkeling tops, representing 27% of the diving and snorkeling sales for the company.

This significant shift marks the beginning of a journey to eliminate neoprene from Decathlon’s entire wetsuit range. Future expansions are planned for adult ranges, and our teams are actively exploring technical solutions for other watersports like diving and open-water swimming that require specific technical solutions.

Most of the production was carried out remotely with LA-based filmmaker Bob Partington through OB42, directing the shoot via live surf cams and liaising directly with teams in Portugal and France. The biggest challenge of shooting this way was getting close enough to the cameras to make the signs legible, leading to some creative moments with ladders, poles, and people climbing each other’s shoulders.

Anna Turrell, Chief Sustainability Officer at Decathlon, said, “As the world’s largest sporting goods brand and retailer, we believe in reshaping the way we do business to reduce the impact we have on the planet. To do this requires a rewiring of the way we think and act as a business. Today, we’re proud to launch Yulex100 which represents an industrial revolution in watersports equipment, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation”.

Raphael Goumain, Chief Marketing Officer at Decathlon, added, “At Decathlon, innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We work hard to break new ground, from our new sustainable Yulex wetsuit made using 100% natural rubber to the way we market it, reaching those who will use it via a unique media channel they watch every day”.

Jack Smedley and George Hackforth Jones, Creative Directors at AMV BBDO, said, “The surfing community is like no other. They have unique habits and customs, so we needed to speak to them in a way that felt authentic. ‘Hacking’ the surf cams they use every day allows us to speak to them in their own language.”

The creative will run in 17 markets, including the UK, Brazil, Malaysia, and South Africa. The 360 campaign also includes 20” and 15” films, which will run online with supporting in-store, experiential, press, and OOH work.


Client: Decathlon
Brand: Decathlon – Yulex100
Campaign title: From tree to sea
Client name: Raphael Goumain, Caroline Marien, Damien De Blignieres and Jean Chevalier

Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
CCO: Nicholas Hulley and Nadja Lossgott
Executive Creative Director: Laura Rogers
Creative Directors: Jack Smedley and George Hackforth-Jones
Creative Team: David Westland and Jeremy Tribe
Agency Planning Team: Alice Aldridge and Rebecca Brett
Agency Account Team: Bruna Bechelli, Pink Kitsawat and David Stokes
Agency Producer: Rhiannon Nicol (Photography) and Alex Warren (Film)
Agency Designer: Simon Dilks

Production Company: OB42
Director: Bob Partington Film Prod Co.
Producer (Film): Julia Frost
Post-production Company: Red Studios
Sound studio: Creative Outpost
Audio Post-production: Creative Outpost
Photographer: Simon Winnall Photography
Prod Co: Picture Club
Retouching: Massive Face

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