Squarespace, Free Climber Take Brand Ad to New Heights

This month, website builder Squarespace unveiled its first major software update in over two years, Squarespace 7. Now, the platform has partnered with free climber Alex Honnold, who scales the world’s largest rock formations without rope or safety gear, to communicate that its redesigned website templates help users reach new heights.

The collaboration between Squarespace and Alex began once the platform learned that the climber was a user of the platform. With the help of creative agency SpecialGuest and National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin, Squarespace coordinated a video shoot that layers the product’s features with Alex’s style of climbing.

Alex’s video was uniquely difficult to shoot, for a variety of reasons. The physical difficulty of Alex’s freesoloing—climbing rock walls or mountains without any harness, rope, equipment, or gear—meant that the production team only had one opportunity to shoot needed footage. For the clip, Alex chose to climb a famously-picturesque Yosemite route nicknamed “Heaven.” Before the shoot, it has only been freeclimbed twice—once by climber Dean Plotter, and once by Alex himself.

Furthermore, because Yosemite National Park does not allow drones or Cineflex cameras to fly in the park airspace, Chin’s team had to rig a crane above Alex’s climb to film him take on the severely overhanging pitch.

The resulting three-minute film overlaps Alex’s harrowing footage and the powerful Squarespace message, “Start here. Go Anywhere.” The video also introduces one of Squarespace’s 15 new templates: its Shift design, inspired by Alex, uses minimal text and screen-filling images to create an expansive visual landscape. “If somebody just casually browses my website,” Alex says of Shift in the video, “I hope they get a sense of the beauty of the places I’ve been to.”

In addition to Alex’s video, Squarespace has filmed band St. Lucia, who also uses the company to maintain their website . Squarespace says these advertisements are the first of a larger campaign entitled “Squarespace Presents” to highlight the personalities and brands that utilize the platform.

Watch “Squarespace Presents: Alex Honnold” here: