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Knokke campaign uses illusions to encourage visitors to cover up

14:30 01/06/2021

Knokke-Heist considers itself the toniest of the resorts along the Belgian coast and it encourages people to understand that swimwear is beachwear and that when they leave the beach to enjoy the town’s shops and restaurants, they should cover up.

Hurae Creative Agency has been commissioned to come up with a series of photos that humorously bring this point home by creating the illusion that people are showing a little too much flesh.

“We know that some people will do a double take when they see these photos,” said Hannes Coudenys, the campaign’s creative director. “But perhaps that also says something about the mind of the person looking at them. There’s no doubt that suggestion is a powerful tool.

“Thankfully, there’s no need for the fashion police, but we hope that this photo series will help remind people that in Knokke-Heist, swimwear is really only for on the beach. Admit it, seeing men wandering around shops or art galleries in their speedos is always a bit awkward.”

The campaign's photographer, Noortje Palmers, added: “There’s nothing at all wrong with a bit of exposed flesh, but there’s a time and a place for everything.

“We created these illusions with the motto: ‘leave nudity to the imagination’. We had to think carefully about each shot. But from the moment we were setting up the first illusion, we got really excited about how funny these photos were and the effect they would have.

“It’s wonderful that Knokke-Heist has the guts to send these photos out into the world.”

For the photos, the team used colourful iconic Knokke sights such as the yellow lifeguard station, the Rubensplein, the Kleurhuis, the pink Lichttorenplein and even the Sacred Heart Church with its bright red door.

“For this shoot, we searched for Instagrammable spots in Knokke-Heist,” added Coudenys. “We came across the Sacred Heart Church by chance, but that red door looks fabulous in the photo.”

Written by Richard Harris