Cannes Lions

Dell Future of Golf

Y&R NEW YORK, New York / DELL / 2016

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Dell Play Through took golf out of the country club and transformed downtown Austin, Texas into a 9-hole golf course—designed with the help of social data.

This was the first game to layer in real-time Foursquare data, turning the city’s hottest restaurants, bars and landmarks into tee boxes, hazards and greens. Players could drive, chip and putt their way through Austin’s most popular sights in 360º street view.

Players adjusted shots based on current wind speed and direction. Using Facebook Connect, they could challenge their network of friends to a round.

To hit each shot, players swung their phones like?golf clubs. Using GPS they could blast drives from their current location, anywhere in the U.S.

The app leveraged the Foursquare social community in a new way: Foursquare members recommended their favorite venues on each block. Like Foursquare and Facebook, Dell Play Through is scalable to cities worldwide.


The Dell Play Through mobile app was designed for dedicated golfers and non-golfers alike. It allowed players to explore the city more deeply, through the intersection of golf and real-time data.

Golf Channel host Matt Ginella designed a 9-hole downtown course. We partnered with Foursquare to show popular venues on each hole. Location pins dropped onto the course, making this golf game a spontaneous city guide.

Using the smartphone’s gyroscope and accelerometer, they could physically swing their phone to play.

A teaser video, in which Matt Ginella hits a real drive toward the Texas Capitol, ran in a rich media and social media campaign with the #DellPlayThrough hashtag,

Dell Play Through launched at South by Southwest, where tech influencers premiered Dell’s Future-Ready golf experience. The app was featured at the Dell Match Play Championships. Tennis champion Andy Roddick, actor Adrian Grenier and Dell founder Michael Dell each hit virtual drives.


In the days after launch, thousands of people had downloaded Dell Play Through for iPhone or Android. In just a few weeks these mobile golfers had hit 114,000 virtual tee shots, in the Austin Open course or from their current GPS location. They played 13,049 holes. The campaign generated 9 million media impressions. The teaser video generated 2 million views across Facebook, Twitter and popular golf sites, with a .24 click-through-rate.

Dell Play Through’s launch generated plenty of buzz at South by Southwest, the Dell Match Play tournament, and in the media. More than a dozen articles appeared during launch week, including features in Golf Digest, Ad Age, and several tech and golf magazines and blogs. Dell Play Through’s unique blend of data-driven experience boosted word of mouth for Dell among golf, travel, entertainment and technology enthusiasts.

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