The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

SquareTrade Labs Surf Tests the iPhone 7

Finalist in Insurance

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign


Our iPhone surf video featuring Kai Lenny, embodies SquareTrade's creative spin on testing device durability as we continue to push consumer brand-building of SquareTrade breakability. Our goal was to continue to build our brand as one that's willing to take risks in order to inform consumers about electronics purchasing decisions and reach an audience beyond traditional tech outlets. To do so we conceptualized the idea of pushing the newest iPhone past its limits in a way that was visually appealing beyond the usual extreme tests many YouTube channels have come to prominence for. By enlisting the help of world class surf boarder, Kai Lenny, we sought to bridge the worlds of consumer tech and competitive extreme sports.

Strategy and Execution

With the emergence of new technology, smartphones are taken everywhere. Our research arm, SquareTrade Labs took the signature device durability tests we've come to be known for into the real world. The strategy was simple: Did Apple's claim hold up in extreme, yet relatable life situations? Tapping into Northern California's iconic surf culture, Kai Lenny and the SquareTrade crew were able to amp up our dunk test courtesy of the Pacific Ocean with epic visual results. Using drones, diver cameras, GoPro sticky mounts and state of the art mounting hardware we learned that the true superstar was the iPhone 7, which was able to play video underwater and survived one of our most grueling tests yet - a surf session with a pro. Teaming up with Kai further proved to be a winning strategy when it came to launching our full campaign. He has a solid and loyal following on both Instagram and Facebook, as well as high respect in the surfing and sports community. Our strategy focused on utilizing both SquareTrade and Kai's brands in order to accomplish our goals beyond just the production and conducting of the actual test video.


Who knew surfing and warranties could prove to be such a winning combination? Our video was covered more than 400 times in US media and in more than 30 countries spanning the globe. Outlets spanned from Sports Illustrated and Mashable to surf only outlets like The Inertia.The video currently has nearly 140,000 views and still counting.

Launching supporting contests and leveraging his community and ours, we were able to amplify our reach and increase engagement exponentially. Our multi-platform social media photo campaign #BlissOutNotWipeOut saw a 400% increase in entries over our previous similar contest; while our already popular and successful Twitter campaign #PhoneKarma saw a 165% increase in entries.

An unlikely duo, warranties and surfing, SquareTrade was able to inject into an otherwise unknown area, making its brand relevant again in the sporting world.


Video for SquareTrade Labs Surf Tests the iPhone 7

Entrant Company / Organization Name