Taylormade's Pitchman - Billy Mays
(*Note: When reading this first paragraph we recommend shouting out every single word just like good 'ol Billy Mays did.)
BILLY MAYS HERE!!! BACK AGAIN TODAY WITH THE GOLF CLUB MARKETING SPECIALIST TAYLORMADE GOLF AND ITS NEW SUPER IRON! Powered by the balls they call Rocket, activated by the power in your swing! These top-secret, super-duper irons are mother nature approved and 100% safe on all golf courses! It's unlike any iron you've ever hit! You will absolutely be blown away by it performance and its fit! It's going to replace the rescue! This iron is longer than any club ever produced!.
Sound like an ad Taylormade might put out?
All Hail...The Hype-O-Ganda
For those that don't know Billy Mays was the infomercial king and would have been an absolute perfect fit as a pitch man for Taylormade Golf if he was still alive (RIP Billy Mays). Now some might think that I woke up and came in to work today just wanting to poke fun at Taylormade. Actually a little bit of the opposite. From a business perspective you have to admire what they do regarding their marketing/buzz building/hype-o-ganda. They do it better than any other golf company in the business....period! Because in reality products from the different top-level OEM's are almost all the same when it comes to performance. So really it just comes down to marketing. Really, most these other companies should spend less of their money in R&D and more in hiring a kick-ass marketing firm. Unfortunate but true.
Advice For Other Golf Companies
Many of the other large OEM's ask my opinion from time to time on why I think Taylormade is successful and what they could do differently. Now this is obviously the simplified version. But...my first advice...times have changed and they're not going back any time soon...you have to be more bold in your claims. Customers and demographics have changed. Don't believe this plays a role? Look no further then the claims and quotes Taylormade has repeatedly put out over the last 5 years or so. Some people hate these claims, some people love these claims, but the fact is that the majority of intelligent people turn to mush brains and believe these claims every year. And that is what they are banking on...the majority...then they will influence the minority. You know who I'm talking about...the guy that swore he wouldn't play a white driver...and somehow was miraculously converted. Might even be you.
I would also suggest to companies hiring someone like a Priority Designs, they definitely helped Taylormade separate themselves from the rest of the pack. And that is what it boils down to. Why Taylormade is successful...once again in an overly simplified version...they have separated themselves from their other competitors who all make similarly performing products. It's a shame to say this is one of the big puzzle pieces to success nowadays but it's the reality. Now...don't get me wrong...Taylormade does a LOT of other things right...and all the little things as well...and one day we will talk about that...we have discussed it for some time here at work and I think you guys would enjoy the read.
(1) Part Apple (1) Part Sham-Wow = SUCCESS!
On the other hand after being in the industry for quite some time and seeing more than my share of so-called leaks of pics and hype-o-ganda often released to us directly from them in a non-direct way, you begin to almost laugh a little bit. But while we laugh...potential customers smile. For whatever reason this marketing tactic still works. But for how long? It's part Apple part Sham-Wow infomercial...and we all know someone (me) who has fallen victim to one of those late night ads. And this year and this release looks like it will be no different. We already know what Taylormade is going to be releasing for the most part in 2013 and yesterday we got a look at one of those products (pictured above).
So why did it make me laugh and others here ask WTH! Well...a combination of things.
- First it was the actual iron itself...mostly the auto industry like camo badge to deceive the paparazzi...we will get to that.
- Then it was the direct quote from TaylorMade Executive Vice President Sean Toulon. Which by the way is odd don't you think, if it was a true spy pic and not one leaked by Taylormade themselves. I mean who has a quote from a company rep if it's not a purposeful leak. Gotta read between some of these lines. While other companies are happy with just showing a couple pics and giving you the typical old-school type press release jargon to spill to the readers...Taylormade likes to take it about 10 steps further. You know with something like this, "What TaylorMade is about to do will completely change how TOUR players look at an iron." This type statement sound familiar to you? It should...because it's not much different then 2011,2010, 2009 or hell just about any year of late from Taylormade.
- Then what has almost become the obligatory ballzy type embellishment statement from one of their staffers about the new product after testing it for the first time. Like this, "It's unlike any iron I have ever hit. Blown away by the performance. The rescue is out." said Sean O'Hair.
- And lastly the camo badge in the cavity similar to what the auto industry purposely uses on prototype cars so they can deceive the most advanced auto focus system on a camera. The truth is that car companies deliberately make their cars look that way so that when and if these prototype cars get snapped by a photographer, certain incriminating details are not visible. Useful on a car with a much larger canvas, but in my opinion just another slick marketing trick from Taylormade on a simple cavity badge to create more mystique and allure.
Has Taylormade Done It Again?
So...has Taylormade done it again? Do you think this new iron will build as much hype as ones in years past? Or do you think like many Apple customers...consumers are starting to get tired of the what some would call outlandish claims? How long do you think this type of marketing tactic will work before it turns off more golfers then it attracts? It sure seems to walk a fine line between brilliance and total absurdity in my opinion. But thats just me...I want to hear what your thoughts are.