Within each weekend golfer lies the beast of a bad sport. Just as a best friend is about to putt, the inner demon within must distract him: "Yougotta hit this for the push."
Exploiting golf-ers' superficially polite competitiveness is the joke in Fitzgerald & Co.'s $2 million ad campaign for Srixon.
Breaking this week on The Golf Channel and Fox Sports Net, two 30-second television commercials will also air nationally on network tournaments. Print efforts in Golf Digest, Golf World and Sports Illustrated will begin in February.
Created by art director Hal Barber and copywriter Jason Aspes for the Atlanta shop, both spots focus on those moments when friends say one thing and mean another. Shot at Friendly Hills Country Club in a Los Angeles suburb, two buddies try to psyche each other out. They know it because each is playing with a ball "as competitive as you are."
"Golfers are always looking for a competitive edge, so we wanted to let them know Srixon understands that," said Mark Gettner, F&C vice president and executive creative director. "They want a ball that delivers high performance—they don't want a lot of technical talk."
In "Carry Over," a player preparing to shoot is distracted when his buddy mutters, "This one's a carry over, don't forget," in a tone calculated to irritate. As the two men watch the ball sail into the distance, the heckler jumps out of his body, screaming "Leak, baby, leak!" As the ball lands successfully, the evil twin snaps back and smiles, "Nice shot." The tagline, "Play a ball as competitive as you are," is heard over the Srixon icon.
Special effects for the ghost-like imagery was provided by Ring of Fire in Los Angeles.
F&C won Srixon from incumbent KWB of Greenville, S.C., last April. Japanese parent Sumitomo Rubber Industries wanted a shop with global resources and decided to go with Fitzgerald, part of McCann-Erickson North America.