It’s no secret that pickleball-themed restaurants have become kind of a big thing in recent years.
Now one new restaurant in South Carolina is riding the coattails of the Super Bowl via regional ads to promote its grand opening this spring.
Slugger Creative is overseeing the campaign with cheeky ads that use the vehicle of “Dear John” letters to illustrate fans “breaking up” with other games (bowling, golf, softball and tennis) to spend more time in pursuit of their true passion: pickleball.
“Dear Bowling, we have to talk,” starts one spot, as neon-colored copy is typed out onto the screen accompanied with bouncy, upbeat music. “There’s someone else. And honestly, it’s not your fault. Look, we had a great run. Thanks for all the calories you helped us burn. Both of them. Oh, and you can keep the shoes. Sincerely, Crush Yard.”
The tennis ad reads, “It’s not you, it’s us. We so admire your ‘social standing.’ Your snazzy shoulder sweaters. And your rigid rules. Who else would think ‘love’ means ‘zero?’ Also, we don’t need your courts anymore. So, buh-bye. Sincerely, Crush Yard.”
Similarly, the golf ad declares (quite accurately in my experience with the game), “way to charge a ton of money and take a ton of time while frustrating the crap out of everyone.” And the softball ad complains, “you only see us once a week, after work. Plus, there’s eight other guys that have to be there.”
“We’ll make a splash during the Super Bowl, and we didn’t need half of Hollywood to be involved,” quips Andrew Ladden, CEO of Slugger Creative. “And we’re doing it with a little snark,” he adds. “It’s kind of like pickleball fanatics punching back at society after years of eyerolls and saying ‘sorry folks, we don’t need your approval. In fact, we don’t need you at all, so, see ya.’”
The “Dear John” series will continue with new versions throughout the spring as Crushyard takes on such activities as hiking, skiing, and basketball.
Crush Yard is advertising ahead of the restaurant opening to promote memberships and the expansion of the franchise into other parts of the Southeast. Investors include NFL greats Ron Gronkowski and Brian Dawkins.