Discover Boating honors next gen of boaters in campaign

(Courtesy Cutwater)

Discover Boating has teamed up with creative and media agency Cutwater, with offices in San Francisco and New York City, to launch a campaign honoring the next generation of boaters.

With the surge in demand for boating, the recreational boating community has seen an increase in participation by younger, more diverse audiences from all backgrounds. Recognizing these evolving interests and needs, Discover Boating partnered with Cutwater to capture the joy, freedom, and inclusivity of life on the water, while amplifying the relevancy as well as signaling the future of boating.

Spearheaded by Cutwater Founder and CCO Chuck McBride along with Executive Creative Director John Norman, the campaign, titled “See You Out Here”, invites long-time, new, and prospective boaters to join life on, in, and under the water in a unifying voice.

Rooted in extensive segmentation and mindset research, with MRI-Simmons and ZMET respectively, it includes an original content library anchored by an exhilarating brand anthem film and the real stories of passionate boaters turned brand ambassadors throughout the country. Watch below:

The authentic, moving narratives feature each brand ambassador’s unique history and relationship with boating, all of whom reflect the next generation of boaters identified in Discover Boating’s research. “Hooked” spotlights Khristian Rousseve, the first Black student-athlete in Louisiana to receive a scholarship for bass fishing.

“Captain Jana” chronicles licensed captain Jana Zontek and her wife, Cindy, finding a shared love and appreciation for life on the water. “Depth of Field” takes a glimpse at the adventures of Andy Mann, an award-winning National Geographic photographer committed to marine conservation.

The pieces were directed by Founder Anson Fogel of Camp4 Collective (behind Apple’s Emmy Award-nominated “Shot on iPhone XS – Don’t Mess With Mother”). Editorial was led by Kenji Yamauchi from Lost Planet, which is founded by three-time Academy Award nominee (most recently in “Best Film Editing” for Don’t Look Up) Hank Corwin.

“My father was an avid boater, so I grew up out on the water. Most of my best childhood memories involve boathouses, docks, and the rush of taking a ride, full blast, skimming across the morning’s smooth, glassy surface. The wind on my face and a huge grin on it too. To be helping Discover Boating reach a new generation of boaters is a dream project, really. I mean, the name Cutwater comes from a boat,“ explains McBride.

He adds, “Our task was to welcome and invite the millions of Americans who are getting into outdoor recreation right now and make boating a really fun lifestyle choice for even those who didn’t necessarily grow up with it, while joining in with those already out here on the water. Our insights brought us a simple fact: boating is a verb. The boat is a vehicle to an experience. So we wanted to focus on the stories about where you will go, do, the people you’ll share it with, and how it’s going to feel. Not the fiberglass.” 

NMMA Vice President of North American Marketing Kevin Williams notes, “Together with Cutwater, we created this campaign as an invitation to the next generation of boaters by sharing the fun, freedom, inclusivity, and sense of community unique to life on the water. Through this campaign and the compelling stories of Khris, Jana, Cindy and Andy, we are talking to people who may not have historically seen themselves in boating but are excited by where a boat can take you, the adventures to be had, and the memories to be made.”

The media strategy boasts a robust buy across TV, digital, and social media channels as well as partnerships with the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, VICE, ESPN, Ebony, and Telemundo.

The work marks the first campaign following NMMA’s appointment of Cutwater as its creative and media agency of record along with Discover Boating’s rebrand and digital transformation. The refreshed visual identity was also co-developed by Cutwater. The revamped website has already attracted more than 5 million unique visitors, a significant milestone in the brand’s rich history.

According to Cutwater Principal and President Christian Hughes, “From beginning to end, the NMMA and Discover Boating teams were the perfect collaborators. They fully supported our creative and media strategy in bringing this vision to life. The final content library, especially the personal narratives of Khristian, Jana and Cindy, as well as Andy, resonate with boaters of all experience levels. We look forward to seeing the next generation of boaters on the water.”

NMMA Chief Brand Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ellen Bradley says, “We presented Cutwater with a challenge of telling the story of an entire industry and the unique, personal experiences boating creates across a wide spectrum of demographics. That meant not focusing on the product, in this case the boats—since our industry produces many types of boats from pontoons to fishing boats to yachts and everything in between—and instead focusing on the special moments, feelings, and freedoms only boating delivers, and doing so in a way that captures the hearts of our diverse customers.”

By the fourth quarter of 2022, NMMA’s 13 consumer boat and sport shows across the U.S. will fully integrate the Discover Boating brand. In February 2022, the Miami International Boat Show, owned by NMMA and produced by Informa Markets, changed its name to the Discover Boating® Miami International Boat Show®. Additionally, in the coming year, hundreds of retailers and manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada will feature Discover Boating’s new content across their own channels and marketing collateral to amplify a consistent voice across the recreational boating industry.


CLIENT: Discover Boating

  • Chief Brand Officer: Ellen Bradley
  • Vice President of Marketing: Kevin Williams
  • Brand Strategy Consultant: Patricia Swindle

AGENCY: Cutwater

  • Chief Creative Officer: Chuck McBride
  • Executive Creative Director: John Norman
  • Executive Producer: Brooke Hopkins
  • Art Director: Kyle Morais
  • Senior Art Director: Chris Cavalieri
  • Senior Copywriter: Russell Dodson
  • Group Account Director: Sandy Laliberte
  • Director of Media: Lizzy Ryan
  • Executive Strategy Director: Ilana Bryant


  • Director: Anson Fogel
  • Executive / Line Producer and Casting Director: Michelle Wang
  • Director of Photography: Ben Sturgulewski
  • Underwater DP: Andy Mann
  • Photographer: Will Saunders

POST: Lost Planet

  • Executive Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
  • Editor: Kenji Yamauchi
  • Editor – Ambassador Docs: Rachel Butler

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