Ad of the Day: Bowlmor Lanes

Spot begins in the gutter and then goes back in time

New York City's Bowlmor Lanes is an institution. The oldest bowling alley in Manhattan, open since 1938, it's been a hot spot for novices, professionals, politicians (including Richard Nixon when he was vice president), and celebrities throughout its 73 years in business. In the late '90s, it reaffirmed its place as a fixture in the city's nightlife firmament with a sweeping renovation that expanded the bar and added glow-in-the-dark pins and balls. Along the way, Bowlmor has always had playful advertising to match—and that streak continues with this latest spot, "Bowl the Perfect First Date," from Meter Industries and Marty Weiss, the former Chiat/Day and Weiss Stagliano creative director. The ad begins with an unbridled kiss, then literally reverses course, tracking the couple back to their meeting (for the first time) outside on University Place. The spot isn't exactly subtle—the guy and girl's fumbling over the grip of the bowling ball is borderline absurd in its clunky suggestiveness—but somehow it rings true. For whatever reason, the goofiness of bowling lowers people's inhibitions as much as alcohol does, and probably is one of the better ideas for a first date. The "Bowl the Perfect …" campaign will continue with differently themed executions in the coming months, though they might not be as spicy as this one. As well as first dates, CMO Steve Zacks says Bowlmor is also perfect for "family outings, birthday parties, group nights out, and corporate events."


Client: Bowlmor Lanes

Agency: Meter Industries

Spot: "Bowl the Perfect First Date"

Creative director: Marty Weiss

Prod Co.: Rabbit

Director: Marc R. Wilkins

DP: Jac Fitzgerald

EP(s): Joby Barnhart, Douglas Howell

Producer: Jeff Sommar

Editorial Co: Whitehouse NY

Editor: Trish Fuller

Audio Post Co: audioEngine

Mixer: Kelly Harnett