Y&R Shoots TV Foursome for Callaway

LOS ANGELES Four new television spots for Callaway Golf strategize the brand differently than last season, according to the creative directors.

“We’re utilizing the tour assets differently,” said Craig Evans, senior vice president and creative director at WPP Group’s Y&R, Irvine, Calif., “and combining it with the focus on the science of Callaway golf that makes every golfer better.”

A spot for the HX Tour golf ball revolves around its hexagonal dimples, which become screens suspended in darkness showing the action of Callaway signatories Annika Sorenstam and Phil Mickelson. The two golfers narrate the benefits of the ball on camera, recalling its success on the PGA Tour last year.

The Fusion FT-3 driver commercial features an explanation of the club’s weighting system by Mickelson. A third ad for the X460 driver and a fourth “medley” spot with head shots of great golfers follows, including Arnold Palmer, who “speaks to another generation,” Evans said.

“For Mickelson and Sorenstam, nothing has changed in how they use the product, but they keep emphasizing that they are better players because of choosing these products,” said Brad Johnson, senior vice president and team leader, who said the ads intend to encourage testing at pro shops. “We have research that shows when they try the product, they end up buying them.”

Johnson said point-of-sale material echoes the television work. Alternate efforts include a Web site built by Y&R partner Wunderman, banner ads and “work toward one-to-one marketing.”

The art direction is distinctly darker than in the previous campaign, Evans said, “for variety and because we wanted to make it seem more like a re-introduction. We wanted to play up our pros in an important light, give them authority and importance.”

Johnson said the “voice of the brand is to stay away from comedy, keep being the innovation leader.”

Posting sales of $998 million in 2005, up 7 percent over the prior year, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Callaway spent $30 million on advertising last year, down 23 percent from 2004, per TNS Media Intelligence.