Peter Kohlöffel, National Sales Manager: Golf Ads™, says the golfing environment provides some unique opportunities for truly creative advertising.
There’s no doubt that the golfing environment is unique. Marketers can showcase brands to a captive audience that is relaxed, focused and unhurried. The golf environment is perfect for telling a number of brand stories, delivered in various formats, in a number of different ways. The very design of a course lends itself to this leisurely storytelling – in fact, what better canvas for creatively engaging with golfers and non-golfers alike?
But in my experience, brands that want to play in this creative space should be aware that the best approach is to align a campaign with the unique attributes of the golfing environment. Let’s look at these attributes in more detail.
A leisure environment
Golfers have time on their hands and they want to focus on their game, which can work perfectly for a brand that wants to tell a story without having to hit the player over the head to get attention. What other marketing environment can capture someone’s attention so completely while they’re in a relaxed and receptive frame of mind?
The campaign for the launch of the new Garmin golf watch – the Approach S60 – has made clever use of the traditional clocks on the golf course by making creative use of the watch face. The campaign was custom-designed for the golf course environment and it is the first time that a golf clock has been modified. The creative engages with golfers in a non-intrusive fashion every time they approach a clock. Taking frequency of play and high dwell-time into account, the campaign targets an affluent market directly interested in golf accessories and wearable technology. Creatively, it illustrates the virtue of tailoring creative to fit seamlessly and relevantly with a consumer touchpoint; driving engagement and recall, and creating desire for the product.
Multiple formats and integrated messaging
Marketers are not restricted in terms of which format or formats to use – in fact, as Pringle’s ‘chipping from the rough’ campaign shows, engaging with both golfers and non-golfers at a variety of touchpoints can reinforce brand messaging. Advertisements for the snack were placed around the golf course, with clocks, ball-washers and Golf TV™ reinforcing brand messaging. At the same time, brand ambassadors handed out products samples in an environment uniquely free of competition – a strategy that created a firm association between Pringles and the golf course.
Pringles leveraged the golfing environment’s unique platforms in order to drive home the message: there is simply no better snack to enjoy on the golf course – particularly when you are faced with tough times in the rough. The pun on the word ‘chipping’ underscored the tongue-in-cheek nature of the campaign, bringing the brand closer to its target market through humour. Custom-designing creative to work with each micro-environment made for a seamless campaign that proved a hit on the 25 golf courses where it was rolled out.
The current campaign for jewellery brand Pandora plays on the “guilt” aspect of golf, taking advantage of the golfing sense of humour. Leading up to the Festive Season, the Pandora campaign places Pandora in the minds of golfers as the perfect gift for their wives and girlfriends. This is a fun and catchy way to grab the attention of golfers.
Multiple points of interruption
Because the golf course is an uncluttered environment, it’s possible to engage with both golfers and non-golfers in multiple ways. Brands can capture attention virtually anywhere on the course – and if they tell a good story, the ‘interruption’ will be welcome.
Marketers already know that golf courses provide a ready-made market of the highest LSM consumers who seek out luxury goods, excellent service and convenience. But more importantly, these consumers want to feel comfortable with the level of engagement. Therefore, marketers should ensure that their campaigns are a good ‘fit’ with the golfing environment.
A particular brand may be better served by a billboard on the approach to the golf course, or a TV ad flighted in the clubhouse or golf cart. A six-second ad on Golf TV™ can be just as effective as a billboard at the 18th hole, depending on your brand’s aims and objectives. In addition, it has been proved that out-of-home advertising can drive consumers to mobile interactions and create two-way communication, which is another factor that can be taken into account. The point is, brands don’t have just one or two opportunities to engage with the target market – they have a number of them, in many places and at different times.
Why focus on great creative?
Marketing consultant Sequent Partners recently found that as much as 70% of ROI can be attributed to creative quality in out-of-home, which is why marketers should pay more attention to creative excellence – it can score a hole-in-one, amplifying and adding value to a brand’s message as well as increasing brand recall.
The golfing environment is very special, lending itself to all sorts of creative storytelling – but brands should ensure that the creative is custom-designed and works for each unique platform. Custom-designing for each format is important, since each format is a creative medium in its own right. The key is to creatively use the golfing environment in such a way that your brand gains maximum benefit from it.