The Golf Ad Wars – What's the Point?

I suppose for it to be a war, Taylormade would have to fight back, regardless, Callaway is definitely calling TaylorMade out after their release of the R11 driver. So far Taylormade hasn’t seemed to notice, and rightly so, the R11 has already seen some great success on tour (to date 2152 white metalwoods on tour). Besides, TaylorMade has been busy taking their marketing direction along a more “guerrilla” route, with stunts like the Giant R11 and lining a street of Manhattan with driving range nets (see video below). Callaway may act all high and mighty, but they too are not above guerrilla marketing stunts, after their Lamborghini vs. Appleby’s tee-shot race in Australia.

Call me crazy, but is guerrilla marketing the best use of marketing money for these major OEM’s? Is writing attack ads really the saving grace to help the dwindling sales numbers of Callaway (down 6% this quarter over last years)? Somehow I don’t think so.  It seems companies that are simply sticking with a more traditional advertising approach coupled with solid R&D, like Titleist, Adams, Cleveland and Cobra are getting more interest from the consumers anyway – so what’s the point? The ads amuse me, but ads don’t sell clubs, performance does. Don’t get me wrong, I’m liking the direction Callaway went with developing their “forged composite” material, but rather than comparing themselves to the obvious leaders in the marketplace, why not differentiate yourself and your products by showcasing their unique benefits?

When it comes to TaylorMade, as the leader, they have an obligation to set the standard when it comes to advertising. Yet, they are tossing away tons of money for useless marketing stunts.  I’d much rather see advertising dollars put towards getting new players to join the game than a giant R11 ad on Padres stadium.

We’ve showcased the ad campaigns below.  What are your thoughts on this topic?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Callaway’s Ad Campaign




TaylorMade’s Ad Campaign

One Comment

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  1. It’s interesting to see all of their campaigns together like this. I for one have definitely been following the ad war between the two of them. I agree it’s entertaining but at the same time it also might behoove them to invest in more players and showcasing the new technology.

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