Matthews/Mark Gives Callaway Golf Ball Attitude

Callaway Golf’s Rule 35 blushes and sprouts fangs as Matthews/Mark positions it as a golf ball with personality.

Spending for the global campaign, which includes three TV spots and print executions, was undisclosed.

The client, based in Carlsbad, Calif., spent nearly $8 million last year promoting its golf balls, per Competitive Media Reporting. Efforts included a launch campaign for the Rule 35 featuring far-fetched claims that the ball was made of moon dust, was voice-activated and was allergic to grass.

“The first campaign was a broad stroke to tell everyone the ball is here, and to play up the hype,” said Michael Mark, president and creative director at the San Diego agency. “Now that it’s been out there a year and has done so well on tour, we wanted to get more product-specific.”

The shop has done that by eschewing lush fairways and celebrity pros and instead depicting the white ball with a prominent Callaway logo against a white background. One spot shows the ball blushing as a voiceover lists some of its accomplishments, such as “30 victories on tours worldwide” and “over $30 million in total winnings.” It concludes: “When the world adores you this much, it can be a little embarrassing.”

A second spot has the ball baring fangs and claims it takes “a bite around the green that’s pure animal.” A third focuses on hang time. The tagline remains, “Hit it. Believe it.”

“We want to make this a very friendly golf ball and tell the facts in a way that is warm and human,” Mark said.

In addition to Mark, the agency team included copywriter Christian Andresen, art director Ben Davis-Duarte and in-house producer Amy Krause. Planet Blue in Santa Monica, Calif., was the production company.

Ads broke last week and are airing during network and cable golf tournaments and during newscasts. Print ads are appearing in golf and business publications, as well as in Sports Illustrated.