Six Golf Commercials Scored

Rory “Snake” – Bogey

It looks cool, is well edited and dramatic but honestly what the heck is going on here? Is this a modern day version of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”? Or is it “I got a great idea, let’s put a rattlesnake in the commercial so people will say “hey there’s a rattlesnake in the new Nike commercial!” What does it have to do with Rory or Nike or golf? And is it selling one single ball, article of clothing or piece of equipment? I think not.

Rolex “This Watch” -Birdie

Melodramatic? Kind of. Artistic? Certainly. Evocative? Definitely. Who doesn’t like seeing classic images of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in each’s prime? Oh and by the way I want that blue faced watch!

Zurich “Lie Detector” – Par

Clever, mildly amusing and great acting by Ben Crane. If it actually helped sell insurance it might get bumped up to a birdie.

AT & T Jordan Spieth “Caddie” – Par

I’m sure the people who really like Jordan Spieth think this is a better commercial than I do. Don’t get me wrong I think Jordan is a really good player and I think this spot is a pretty good one. My problem is that the whole “we” concept in professional golf is an immediate turn off for me. Also the payoff is okay with the mispronunciation of Jordan’s last name at the end but it would have been so much better if Retief Goosen, Jose Maria Olazabal, Joost Luiten or Tyrone Van Aswegen had delivered it. I mean, why not? Tony Romo is in it!

IZOD Webb Simpson “our team” – Triple Bogey

Does anybody, who knows anything at all about golf or Webb Simpson, think this is a good commercial? I can’t think of a more dramatic misread on the “green” that is somebody’s brand. The 2012 United States Open Champion is a good player. I’m sure he is also a tremendous family man and a more than decent guy. What he is not is a frat boy on a boat. The guys on his “team” don’t look remotely fun, aspirational or enjoyable to be around. They look like obnoxious jerks and Webb is tainted with that same brush. This ad is a creation of an agency that thinks it’s “edgy” but knows nothing about the audience it’s trying to reach, the sport it’s hoping to showcase, or the spokesperson of the product they are trying to represent. How they got Webb to agree to this is beyond me.

Callaway “Boeing” – Bogey

Really? There hasn’t been this big of a disconnect between a company and golf since… Okay there has never been this big of a disconnect between a company and golf.

About Keith Hirshland

My name is Keith Hirshland and I am a four decades television veteran who has spent time both in front of and behind the camera. During nearly forty years in broadcasting my path has crossed in front of, behind and alongside some of the best in the business... And some of the worst. Many of those people I count as friends while others wouldn't make the effort to spit on me if I was on fire. This television life started early watching my Mom and Dad found, fund and run a local affiliate TV station in Reno, Nevada. As a teenager approaching adulthood I worked for them, first as an on-air sports reporter/anchor and later as a director and producer. Jobs in the industry took me across the country and then to many places around the world. Sports is my passion and putting it on TV has been my business. Production credits include auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, college football, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and water polo but the majority of my time "in the chair" since 1990 has been invested in the game of golf with both ESPN and The Golf. Channel ( I was one of the first forty people hired by TGC in 1994 ). I am a fan and I watch TV sports as a fan but I also have hundreds of thousands of hours watching from inside a production truck. I think that makes me qualified to comment, my hope is you agree. I have written four books, Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat), a memoir that is a tribute to my parents, the hard working, creative people who started ESPN2 and The Golf Channel and a look back at my life in television. Cover Me Boys was awarded the “Memoir of the Year” in 2017 by Book Talk Radio Club. In February of 2019 it was released anew by Beacon Publishing Group. My second book is a novel, Big Flies, and is a mystery that tells the story of a father and a son with four of the world's most notorious unsolved robberies as a backdrop. Big Flies was named “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime category by New Apple Awards. My third book, another mystery titled The Flower Girl Murder, was published in 2018. Book number four might be the most fun I ever had on a writing project. Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis is a mystery, a love story, and an homage to good grammar. It is both the Book Talk Radio Club BOOK OF THE YEAR for 202 and a TopShelf Awards first prize winner in the mystery category. All four are available at Amazon. Book five is in the capable hands of the good people at Beacon Publishing Group and should be available soon. I look forward to sharing new thoughts about golf, golf television, sports in general and the broadcast industry with you. The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are not connected to nor endorsed by any other person, association, company or organization.
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