We are a golf marketing firm specializing in communications, strategy, products and services


Monday, September 26, 2011

Authenticity in Golf Marketing. How some companies get it and the Golf Channel still doesn't!

To be authentic in golf communications is critical. Golf is a game full of intricacies and nuance and the use of it in advertising and marketing is no less important. You would think companies using golf in their marketing would get that, wouldn't you? Well, in many instances they don't and the agencies they use are also clueless.

You would think the Golf Channel would get it right? Wrong! I have blogged previously about their awful Golf Now ads and the recent spots have not improved. They still lack authenticity. The actor clearly isn't a golfer, his terminology, his movement around the golf course, his use of a cellphone to book a tee time while his opponent is putting - we understand, it's supposed to be satirical - it isn't and it undermines the campaign.

To see a company using golf authentically in an ad take a look at the wonderful Zyrtec ad. Allergy drugs are not an obvious choice to associate with golf (particularly with a mother and daughter) but here it is pulled off with aplomb. Not only can the actors play, they look comfortable around the game and the closing shot of them walking is a joy! Great job by McNeil-PPC.

When you see further examples of the good, the bad and the ugly in golf advertising please let us know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The LPGA - What's going on?

These are interesting times on the LPGA, to put it mildly! Blindsided by the Chinese as they lose an event, weak TV coverage of the outstanding Solheim Cup event and now the dabacle over Lexi Thompson.

The best news on the LPGA seems to be Lexi Thompson's stunning 5 stroke victory at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, AL. And the result of the 16 year old's win would be what? - an exemption onto the struggling Tour that needs all the good news it can get? Oh no, way too easy. The Commish has said she is too young and the rules state players must be 18 years old to compete. Big news..she is already competing and it will surely only be a matter of time before Commisioner Whan throws the rule book out of the window and creates a special exemption for the most exciting player to come to women's golf in many years. No doubt a plethora of lawyers (What is the collective noun for lawyers?) are working on all the documents as we speak. The sooner this decision is announced the better. Thompson withdrawing from Q school would seem to suggest that she has already had the nod and the LPGA is waiting until after the Solheim Cup to make the announcement.

Mmmm, The Solheim Cup scheduled the same week as the Tour Championship. Interesting! I guess at least with the Irish venue the time difference will work in their favor, but it still has no network coverage, which is a great shame. I was at the first Solheim Cup at Lake Nona and at least another 3 of them since then and it's a great event and deserves more. You can see it on the Golf Channel surrounded by Big Break 33 and horrendous Golf Now ads.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3 Golf Products That Should Be Outlawed

1. The Long Putter. There has been win after win this season and even Phil has now seen fit to jam the long putter into his belly. But that doesn't make it right does it. Once again the games overseers, the USGA and R & A have been out maneuvered and outpaced by the game's manufacturers. And they only had 20 years to make a ruling on this one! If anyone doesn't think that anchoring the putter to the body doesn't provide an advantage then they haven't tried it. Again, it doesn't make it right and it sure isn't pretty to watch. I was at a junior event recently and saw quite a number of young girls and boys with these 40 inch monster putters. One more instance of the purity of the game vanishing before our eyes or is just a fad...let's hope it's the latter.

2. Range finders. I know I have waged war on these before, but I'm very specific about when and where it is acceptable to use these and when it is not. Professional golfers or caddies really needing to know the yardage to the exact spot for a tournament - no problem, fire away. Amateur golfers with handicaps, playing on the weekend, with a busy tee sheet - problem, stop! These people can't hit the ball the distance that they expect 95% of the time and yet they still insist on knowing the exact number of yards to the pin. They slow up play and look like idiots having spent two minutes working out a yardage and then 2 seconds hitting it 123 yards when the distance was 176!

3. Metal Spikes. When softspikes first hit the market 20 years ago, they were a great idea with horrible execution. Players slipped silently onto their behind, but at least they didn't spike up the greens. Fast forward to 2011 and the various plastic cleat brands on the market (softspikes is the generic, but not the brand leader anymore) are great - they grip, you can wear them indoors and they don't spike up the greens or tees. Most clubs have banned metal spikes now, so it just needs the professional tours to finally join the party and the century and force its players to make the switch.

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. Email me with anything else you think should go into the old club barrel!