Watch How TaylorMade Found Success Selling DTC While Branding
Join DRTV Expert, Ken Kerry and TaylorMade Vice President of Direct–to–Consumer & Digital John Gonsalves as they discuss how the company revived the Adams Golf brand using DTC strategies
There is a perception that the golf industry is slow to evolve. Really though, they are as data and statistics-driven as any retailer today. Launching a new product – or relaunching an iconic brand – requires large amounts of particular data to do properly. It is also important that the data can be created quickly, so it is possible to scale. What is the best way for a company to achieve this?
In the case of venerable golf manufacturer TaylorMade relaunching the Adams Golf brand with the Tight Lies Fairway Wood, the answer was a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) campaign with a focus on television.
This was the focus of the latest in DTC agency Script to Screen’s May 27, 2021 webinar. Titled “How TaylorMade Found Success Selling DTC While Branding,” the interview focused on TaylorMade’s lessons learned during the Tight Lies Fairway Wood’s successful campaign.
Answering the questions at the webinar was John Gonsalves, the Vice President of Direct–to–Consumer & Digital for the TaylorMade Golf Company where he oversees the company’s direct interaction with golfers including eCommerce and digital engagement.
John has over 20 years of merchandising, marketing and digital strategy experience in the sports and athletic apparel space. Prior to joining TaylorMade John spent over 10 years with GSI Commerce helping brands, retailers and sports leagues deliver on all aspects of their online efforts.
While TaylorMade is a household name in the golfing world, the Adams Golf brand, which it owns, has been quieter in recent years. Created by golf pro Barney Adams, the Tight Lies Fairway Wood was propelled to success by a an incredibly popular infomercial produced by Script to Screen.
The show had sportscaster Jack Whittaker as the host and narrator and as spokespeople used Tiger Woods’ then-coach Hank Haney, British Open winner and PGA Bill Rogers, British Open winner and PGA Player of the Year in 1981; and LPGA Hall of Famer Carol Mann. It was so successful, Barney Adams was selected as Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 1999. In 2012, the company was acquired by TaylorMade Golf.
While Adams Golf is a name many golfers might remember, it has not been marketed heavily recently. TaylorMade wanted to find a way to connect with golfers. They needed to find a way to immediately explain the story behind the Adams Golf relaunch. It was also necessary to do it at a scale that would provide enough data that they would know immediately whether the campaign had been successful or not.
The answer was a DTC campaign that included the heavy use of television commercials in 60–second and two–minute lengths. This created an interesting symmetry, as the Adams Golf brand’s heritage was in DTC. But more importantly, provided sales data quickly and at a scale that was not possible with digital marketing.
“Digital has a role,” John explained, “but I think if you’re really trying to get in front of a consumer and tell a story at a much larger scale in a much shorter period… this TV model, a lot of us can do that.”
By placing commercials on platforms like the Golf Channel, TaylorMade was able to not only make sales, but also to get necessary data at a rate which would not have been possible with only digital.
“Digital has a role, but I think if you’re really trying to get in front of a consumer and tell a story at a much larger scale in a much shorter period of time, you need TV,” John said. “We’ve been able to see some statistically and monetarily significant results in a pretty short period of time. We knew this was going to work; or not. We think it is the first one.”
The data collected from TaylorMade’s DTC campaigns has changed the way the company operates. It has allowed the business to create what could have been riskier products. That risk is alleviated, though, when you have marketing data that says a product is viable in a market.
“We are having some fun with it and creating some products we probably wouldn’t have in the past,” John said.
The short-form DTC spots were also able to tell the story of the Adams Golf relaunch more efficiently than more traditional equity advertising. The longer run times meant the advertisements could do more than just brand, but also inform and – most importantly – sell.
“Golf is a passion sport,” John said. Customers want to interact with our brand and our athletes.
“We can tell that story. We can do that – we’re good at that. But there’s a lot of time and energy telling that to a golfer.”
Our Next Webinar
Please join us for our next #ThoughtLeaderThursday webinar on June 24, 2021 at [2:00] PM ET/[11:00] AM PT. If you’ve watched any television the last few years, you have probably seen an advertisement for Nugenix. We will be talking to parent company Adaptive Health’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Amburgey about the strategies that have propelled Nugenix to become a nutraceutical giant. You will not want to miss this informative look into a phenomenally successful brand’s marketing strategy.
[2:39] interview begins
[4:30] How has Direct-to-Consumer evolved at TaylorMade in the last five years?
[6:15] Direct-to-Consumer has accelerated
[7:30] How has DTC affected TaylorMade’s bottom line?
[9:08] How does equity advertising work with DTC?
[11:40]: Why take Adams Golf DTC?
[16:30]: What important lessons would you tell someone who is looking to get into DTC?
[20:40] Managing your backend
[24:38] Branding vs. A call-to-action
[27:28] Layering Your Marketing
[32:30] Where are businesses at?
[36:30] What do I need to know about Direct-to-Consumer that I don’t?
[40:25] How do you get people past the myths of DTC?
[44:00] Questions from the audience
[45:00] How does DTC change the pricing to your consumers?
48:00 What kind of volume scale do you experience when you use direct marketing via TV?
Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of Script to Screen
Ken Kerry serves as an Executive Producer and Executive Creative Director at Script to Screen, and his hands-on involvement ensures the highest production values are combined with solid direct response principals. Script to Screen is one of the nation’s leading direct response television companies, producing more than 600 infomercials and DRTV spots, generating more than $6 billion in sales for its clients, and winning numerous awards for excellence.