Lifestyle Ship Sticks Ads Get My Thumbs Up

It’s amazing how commercials really can shape your view of a product, service, or company. I have always thought that Ship Sticks (a service that will ship your golf clubs so you don’t have to lug them through an airport) was a great idea but I hated their commercials. In fact, I hated them so much that it tarnished my view of their brand.

Ship Sticks anywhere

The first one that really bothered me was an ad with a beautiful women at her door talking to a ship sticks delivery man picking up clubs. The joke of the ad was a male voice coming from inside a golf bag asking “Honey, are we there yet?” My reaction to this ad was that it was insulting to men. And I wondered if male golfers found the ad funny? Also, I have no problem with beautiful women selling product but I think the overt exposure of the woman’s cleavage in this ad is gratuitous and using this tactic is just plain lazy. If you haven’t seen it, you can view the “Ship Sticks Anywhere” for yourself.

Ship Sticks LarryThe next ad that seemed to run a lot on TV was called “Larry” which featured three co-workers giving a man a hard time for not having his clubs at the airport. Again, I thought to myself, do men really want to be portrayed as idiots (the three men questioning their co-worker)? At least “Larry” looked at the three men like they were idiots. Both these ads try to use humor but to me the ads are sophomoric and annoying.

I assume the ad agency presented the leadership of Ship Sticks all the demographic data that would indicate these commercials would be successful. Perhaps they are but I always thought the #1 Rule in advertising was don’t insult your customer; and 80 percent of golfers are male. Of course, I am a woman and have no idea if men find the portrayal of the man hiding in the bag and three co-workers insulting or funny.

Anyway, I am not writing because of the ads I dislike. I am writing because of the new direction of their commercials with two ads I recently saw on TV that I like.

The new ads use what I believe is a lifestyle approach focusing on things that golfers actually can relate to in their own golf lives. First is “Challenges” (see below) which shows images of bucket list golf destinations (with a voice over about ship sticks service). It might be viewed as boring or basic but if you are a golfer it catches your eye and makes you day dream (even if only for a few seconds) of playing those courses.

 

The other new ad that I like is “4 Buddies” (see below). Every golfer loves a great golf trip with their friends. Obviously, the reason I like this one if because women are the “buddies’ in the ad. Too many times I have seen golf commercials, online articles or print ads that are written as if only men take buddy trips. Not true! Yes, the majority of buddy trips are taken by men but I know many women golfers that take buddy trips. Now I think the ad will also catch the eye of male viewers because the women are young and beautiful (nothing wrong with that but I would surmise that most women taking golf buddy trips are a bit older).

 

Bottom line, I’m just one woman golfer but a smart marketer knows the “power of the purse.”  Personally, my opinion is that these ads appeal to a much broader customer base and improved the brand image of Ship Sticks; and I might even try their service when I take my next golf trip.

 

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The LPGA’s Funny Girl – Tiffany Joh

Another US Women’s Open has come to a close and most bloggers will be writing about the winner, Na Yeon Choi but I’m going to highlight a player that did not even make the cut — American golfer, Tiffany Joh.  Why?  Because, whether it is intentional or not — she is in the process of building a unique personal brand.

This year Joh is struggling a bit with her game and is 115 in the Rolex World Rankings.  However, Joh is a solid player and shows promise.  Joh won twice on the LPGA’s Future tour.  As a member of the LPGA 2011 Rookie Class, Joh had an excellent year with $237,365 in earnings and ranked eighty-seven (87) on the Rolex Women’s World Golf rankings list.  Joh also had a top 10 finish in 2012.  She was second at the Navistar Classic.  Unfortunately for Joh, it was the tournament Lexi Thompson (Golf’s newly anointed “phenom”) made history as the youngest winner (at age 16) on the LPGA.

So what makes Joh unique?  The PGA may have the Golf Boys but the LPGA has Tiffany Joh.  She loves music and has become known for her music videos.  This week, the week of the 2012 US Women’s Open, she posted her most recent video on her YouTube channel (Just Your Morning Cup of Joh.)   The video is All I Do is Win (LPGA Remix).  A parody of the song, “All I Do is Win” by Ludacris.

Joh has had a YouTube channel since 2008 but she really got noticed for her LPGA video last year “Grip It” (a parody of Freak Nasty’s 1996 hit song “Da’ Dip”).  It’s amazing how she get’s her fellow LPGA players to be silly on video.

Not only is she clever and creative with music videos but she has a great channel title “Just your morning cup of Joh” and user name “CupofJoh” and has a cartoon-like drawing (self-portrait – I’m guessing) and uses it as her YouTube channel and Twitter background.  All creating a unique personal brand.

The one thing that surprised me is that her website does not carry this branding.  However, if you visit the website, Joh’s humor and attitude come through loud and clear with just a single page stating “You are a Nerd…Websites are for Nerds.”  Is she ahead of the curve or just representative of her generation who live on social media?  I believe it is the later.  After all, the websites of the big golf stars are supported by big sponsor money.  So Joh’s site may get an upgrade if she lands a major sponsor.

It’s not just that Joh is using social media but she is savvy too — do you think the timing of the recent video was a fluke? No way.  The US Women’s open gets more press than any other women’s golf event and Joh’s video was all over twitter (at least the people who tweet about golf).

As I mentioned earlier, Joh did not make the cut at the US Women’s Open but her sense of humor never fails.  Here is a screen shot of her tweet from the airport the next day:

Tweet from Tiffany Joh on Missing Cut at US Women's Open

If you are old school and think golfers should only get noticed for their golf achievements than Tiffany Joh’s style may not be your “cup of tea” (or joh); but I respect the fact that she has developed a personal brand that sets herself apart from all the other young female golfers on tour.

Nicknames for Golf’s Toughest 3-hole Stretches

This week the Honda Classic is played at the Champions course, PGA National in Florida.  It is most famous for three holes (15,16, and 17) that are statistically some of the hardest holes on the PGA tour.  This 3-hole stretch of golf is called “The Bear Trap.”  At the 15th hole there is a large bear statue and a plaque for The Bear Trap.

It was designed by Jack Nicklaus (whose nickname is “The Golden Bear).  Below is a video of Nicklaus describing the holes; as well as Nick Price describing it from a players perspective.

It got me thinking about what other nicknames I could remember from watching golf on TV and surprisingly I could think of quite a few nicknames for other 3-hole golf stretches including:

Amen Corner at Augusta National (holes 11,12, and 13) where the Masters Tournament is played in early April.  This is probably the most famous nickname and was coined by Herbert Warren Wind in an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated in 1958.

The Green Mile at Quail Hollow (holes 16,17, and 18) where the Wells Fargo Championship is played end of April.

The Horrible Horseshoe at Colonial (holes 3,4, and 5) where the Crowne Plaza Invitational is played in late May.

Of course, this makes we wonder if I have a really good memory or watch way too much golf (I’m afraid it is probably the latter).

E*Trade Baby – Great Golf Commercial

The super bowl was last night and hard-core New England fans might be down in the dumps because the Pats lost. Not me. I am focused on humor today.

Once again there were some great commercials during the super bowl; including a new E*Trade Baby Commercial.  I love the E*Trade Baby and it reminded me of my favorites ads.

Of course, one of my favorite’s is the ad with the golf theme where he calls his golf partner, Frank, a “Shankopotomis.”

But my all time favorite commercial is when the baby is in a “time out.”

It’s Monday, football (like golf) is just a game.  If the ads above don’t make you chuckle, find something that does put a smile on your face today.

Sang-Moon Bae is not a Luxury Resort

When I say the name Sang-Moon Bae I think of a luxury resort.  In my mind, I picture myself on a beach, lounging in a chair, sipping a drink with an umbrella, and staring at the ocean.  But it is not the name of a resort.  It is the name of a PGA Player.  Sang-Moon Bae is a rookie on the PGA tour.

Given I don’t follow the Asia tour, it doesn’t surprise me that I don’t know about him.  He is from South Korea, has been a pro golfer since 2004 and according the World Golf Rankings he is 34 in the world and ranked 3 in Asia.

Today, I saw him playing in the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open. I tuned into the telecast just as he missed a putt and was very upset.  Turns out it was his third bogey after posting a double bogey on the first hole.  Basically he dropped 5 strokes in the first four holes. It was not looking good.  But he regrouped and shot 5 birdies overall and he ended his round at even par; and for the tournament, stands at twelve under par (tied for fourth.)

I don’t think he will win because the leader is at 18 under par.  But now that I have seen him play, I think I will pay a bit more attention to the rookie with the great name.

Snow in New England and Wind in the Desert

It’s snowing! Yes, it is January. Yes, it is New England. So what is the big deal?  Well, this is the first time it really feels like winter this year.  I’m not complaining because I have enjoyed the mild winter but it is nice to have a quiet winter day.

I think my most important golf memory of 2011 will be playing golf in December.  Normally by late fall I am cleaning my clubs and telling myself that I should think about a winter golf vacation somewhere warm. But this year, on December 6, I was playing golf while a warm breeze blew leaves across the fairway.  For someone who is always cold, it was unbelievable to not only be playing golf in December, but also to be wearing only a golf sweater and long pants. It is wonderful, that in the middle of a snow storm, I have this memory to make me smile.

Today’s storm is the kind I love because the snow is falling softly.  It is the light fluffy snow that does not cause any damage to trees.  There is a peaceful quiet in the neighborhood except for the occasional sound of the snow plows going down the street. On this wintry day I feel I have the perfect excuse to hunker down on the couch,with a hot cup of tea, and watch golf on TV.

The Humana Challenge is on the Golf Channel and to my surprise there is a weather delay. The picture on the screen shows a beautiful sunny day. What is going on?  Then the announcer explains that a high wind has come into the desert and due to the danger of blowing debris play has been suspended.  As he speaks, the screen flashes an image of a score board in the water with letters and numbers floating all around.

The saying goes “Life is what happens when you are making other plans” but I think it should be weather is what happens to make you change your plans.

Is Johnson Wagner’s mustache more important than winning the Sony Open?

The only thing I knew about Johnson Wagner prior to the Sony Open was that golf commentators were talking about his mustache; and the comments were not exactly flattering.  Some compared his mustache to that of the sleazy private detective, Pat Healy (played by Matt Dillion) in the movie “There’s Something About Mary.”  By the way, a movie that I cannot stand.

Wagner was just one of many golfers who grew Mustache’s in November. Many grew them because of a campaign called Movember which was created to raise awareness of Men’s Health issues.  Wagner said he just didn’t shave over the holidays and decided to try a mustache. Regardless of the reason, folks teased Wagner about the “new look.”  Given it provided additional banter and color commentary for the golf media, I suppose it should not be a surprise that the commentary continued the Monday morning after he won the Sony Open.  But it seems to be “the story” about Wagner.  Now folks are comparing him to Magnum PI (Tom Selleck).

When asked about it, Wagner said his friends think he looks like a “Latin Lover” and, oh yeah,  his wife hates it.  Wagner won the Sony Open and in an interview, Wagner says he is keeping his mustache at least until he plays the Masters. He even said it adds to his confidence.

It got me thinking about personal brand.  Personal brand is certainly important for professional athletes. And I wonder if Wagner’s mustache is going to become part of his personal brand? If personal brand is about making yourself stand out from the crowd, or in this case on the golf course during a tournament, then I think the mustache might actually be more important than winning the Sony Open.

I can honestly say that prior to this week if Wagner was on the TV screen I would not recognize him. But last night during the telecast, I could recognize him in an instance because of his Mustache.  In the future will I remember who won the Sony Open in 2011, maybe.  But if Wagner still has his mustache will I recognize him on TV, definitely.