Joshua Collingsworth Foundation // “Josh the Otter” Case Study

Client Description

The foundation was started by Blake and Kathy Collingsworth after they lost their three-year-old son to drowning. They took it upon themselves to utilize their tragedy for good by helping to prevent similar situations in the future.

Their mission is to educate children and adults worldwide about water safety through the utilization of drowning prevention campaigns and early childhood water safety training. They hope to create generational change in how children and adults perceive bodies of water.


The primary goal of the video was to raise awareness and educate children and adults about water safety. They wanted the video to tell their story and be their presence at events that they cannot attend. One of the biggest problems the organization faces is people saying, “this isn’t a problem here.” They have also found that people have a natural aversion to the epidemic of drowning and just don’t want to hear about it.

Some of the things they hoped the video would accomplish:

  • Demonstrate their solution to the drowning epidemic: educating kids physically and mentally.
  • Show that it’s important to empower the child rather than trying to control their behavior.
  • Demonstrate that this isn’t just a problem at the swimming pool. It could happen at a lake, a stream, a bucket, or anywhere else.
  • Dispel myths about how drownings occur.
  • Show the large scope of the problem.
  • Articulate the foundation’s achievements and goals.


We decided to start by balancing the Collingsworth’s story with talking about the foundation’s strategy. We held a focus group and asked the participants what would compel them to not only give to the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation, but also to change their own behaviors. This group gave us insight into the necessity of visually showing a drowning. It was important for them to have a somewhat graphic connection to the story. They also articulated the need for the Collingsworth’s to share their story from their own perspective.

We decided to make this project a two-part video: the first half would focus on drawing people in through the tragedy of the situation while tucking and folding in statistics. The second half would bring hope to the tragedy by showing the foundation’s revolutionary approach to drowning prevention.

Let us know what you think!