Tee Time? Callaway Might Review

By Angela Dawson

LOS ANGELES–Callaway Golf, which recently tapped Dailey & Associates here to develop an ad campaign for its Biggest Bertha club, may soon launch a search for its first lead agency.

Ely Callaway, the 78-year-old founder and chairman of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based club

manufacturer, said he is pleased with Dailey’s new campaign featuring golf pro John Daly, but added that the company may want to establish a more formal agency relationship.

‘We’re considering it very carefully,’ Callaway said. ‘We not only have a big product message to get out to the world, but we also have a corporate message. That’s what the agency would do.’

The client spent nearly $15 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Ads for its various golf club products have been handled in-house.

Dailey would have ‘an edge’ on other shops in an agency search because of its recent project work, Callaway said. Callaway and Cliff Einstein, Dailey’s chief executive officer and corporate creative director, are old acquaintances, and Einstein is personally overseeing the campaign at the agency.

The campaign, which includes TV as well as print ads running in golf magazines, is atypical among endorsement deals. Daly’s recovery from alcoholism is an integral element of the campaign. His contract with the client stipulates that he remain sober and continue to seek treatment as a condition of his endorsement deal with Callaway. The themeline, ‘Keep It Straight, John,’ was the brainchild of the former PGA winner himself.

One TV ad alludes to Daly’s condition with the opening, ‘He’s healthy. He’s ready. He’s back.’

‘It’s supposed to look like a movie trailer–a fallen hero entering the field of battle,’ Einstein said. ‘We are literally his support system. Advertising is part of his cure.’ That ad and a second broke last week during the broadcast of the PGA tournament.

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