Whole In One
Details of the pitch will be unveiled officially during the meetings, but ProLink Network CEO Andy Batkin tells the Digital Outsider that it will include a "huge Web initiative," that will extend ProLink's presence well beyond the tee boxes, fairways and putting greens of the world's best golf courses, onto the World Wide Web.
"What we're doing is creating an integrated digital out-of-home play that has a Web component to it," Batkin says, hinting that it will be a, well, whole in one: a multiplatform offering that is one part proximity-based, and one part Internet-based.
The proximity part will enable marketers to reach ProLink's high-end consumer base - typically affluent, middle-aged males with high earning and discretionary buying power - at a time when they are relaxing, and acutely focused on the content adjacent to those brand messages: GPS-based estimates guiding them on the distance to the next hole, and the golf clubs they would need to effectively make that shot.
"Our research shows that the GPS system actually improves, on average, four strokes per round for the average player," Batkin notes, adding that the average "dwell" time per ad message between each hole is about 12 minutes, and typically incorporates three distinct messages: a quarter page ad when the player tees up, a new quarter page ad when he or she hits the fairway (150 yards from the green), and a final full-page ad when the player takes the green.
Findings from an Edison Research study indicate that the combination of ad rotation and proximity are especially effective, generating unaided recall of brand messages as high as 70%.
"The fact that people are looking at that screen maybe five to eight times at a particular hole puts us in a very unique position. That's why the recall rates are so high, because the advertising is adjacent to very vital information that people are using to select the right club for their needs," Batkin explains, citing are recent campaign run by Micheloeb as a good example. The beer marketer ran one message at the 9th hole reminding golfers that they are "getting close to the club house," also infamously known as the 19th hole. At the 18th hole the Micheloeb messages change to "finish strong" and end with "one good round deserves another."
Batkin would not disclose details of ProLink's new Web offering but intimated that it would deal with process golfers use to select the courses they're thinking of playing, and that it would represent a different kind of proximity for brand marketers looking to reach golfers.