“Speed Police”, a new advertising campaign by TaylorMade Golf Company, casts a side-eyeing glance at golfers who are playing with outdated equipment. The commercial, by the Los Angeles-based firm Zambezi, is the latest in an industry trend which encourages players to move on, but the jury is out on whether thrifty consumers are amused at the lighthearted — and not-so-subtle — messaging.
TaylorMade’s JetSpeed metalwoods are pushed by endorsers, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia.
“The foursome patrols golf courses, shaking down unsuspecting golfers playing old drivers. They’ve even got a Twitter handle: TMSpeedPolice.”
“The Speed Police campaign reminds consumers that golf is fun, and hitting the ball a mile with JetSpeed metalwoods makes it even more fun,” TaylorMade said in a release.
“Golfers have heard every tech claim and distance-enhancing pitch in the book. Our goal was to bring some ‘fun’ and energy back to golf with a campaign that delivers a compelling product message and makes you stop and say ‘what just happened,’” said Bob Maggiore, CMO atTaylorMade Golf. “The use of these marionettes is a departure from traditional golf advertising and chances are you’re going to remember what they have to say about faster metalwoods.”
But some consumers are already bristling at the notion of a brand alienating penny-pinching consumers in an already expensive sport in the name of “disruption.”
Zambezi creative director Kevin Buth said in a statement:
“Every major stick and ball sport is given license to push their storytelling to the brink of insanity, but people never expect the same kind of disruption from a golf brand’s advertising,” Buth said. “In a sport that desperately needs fresh air, TaylorMade definitely isn’t afraid to push the status quo.”
TaylorMade sent the following tweet Tuesday:
— Speed Police (@TMSpeedPolice) February 18, 2014
Some consumers took exception with the messaging. ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted the following:
TaylorMade launches ad campaign designed to get golfers to get latest & greatest. Theme in industry is encouraging turnover.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) February 19, 2014
And folks quickly chimed in:
@darrenrovell Bring down prices, average golfer won’t spend the same amount every two years on a driver that they spend on a phone.
— Chris Judge (@cjudge05) February 19, 2014
@darrenrovell sounds like a project I worked on with contact lens client. Making product to last vs. need for consumer to re-up = tough
— Jon Arens (@jonarens) February 19, 2014
@darrenrovell Hopefully it involves some price reductions. Golf equipment is too damn expensive.
— Mike Letourneau (@TheRealChuck84) February 19, 2014
Here’s the first (of many more to come?) thirty-second spot. Golfers: Are you moved? Let us know in the comments.