Cannes Lions

Driver vs. Driver

PHENOMENON, Los Angeles / WILSON SPORTING GOODS / 2017

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

What if Wilson’s next big driver could be developed in front of the entire golfing world? With a reality TV series on the Golf Channel featuring some of the country’s best designers and engineers—and some aspiring amateurs—competing to create the world’s Next Great Driver…and the $500,000 first prize. Plus the opportunity to have their driver brought to life and sold under the Wilson Staff name in golf shops around the world.

Driver vs. Driver went far beyond product placement or branded content. It was a show about the development of actual product. One that gave viewers an inside look at the science, trials, tribulations and hurdles thrown in the way of driver innovation. One that gave viewers a vested interest in the teams and the drivers they were creating.

Execution

Driver vs. Driver followed aspiring golf equipment designers as they competed for the chance to win $500,000 and the opportunity to have their driver concept brought to life and sold under the Wilson Staff name. Each design team worked with Wilson Labs engineers to refine their drivers, all while trying to stave off elimination. Anyone could enter, no matter if they’re an industrial designer or just a fan of the game. Because it all came down to the idea.

From pitching to designing to actually bringing their driver to life, Driver vs. Driver followed eleven finalists as the competition played out over seven episodes. It ran on the Golf Channel for seven weeks. The judges were Brian Urlacher, former linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Frank Thomas, former USGA Director, Tim Clarke, the president of Wilson Golf, and Kevin Streelman, a Wilson PGA tour pro.

Outcome

Driver vs. Driver became Wilson’s most ambitious and successful product launch in years. Creating more buzz for Wilson Golf than any product in their history. And it helped Wilson force their way onto the main stage with their better known and better funded competitors.

According to a post-show study, 62% of viewers felt more favorably toward the Wilson brand after viewing the show. Furthermore, 73% of viewers stated they were interested in purchasing a Wilson product. Purchase intent peaked among viewers aged 19-39, an age group the brand traditionally viewed as critical yet difficult to sway.

All without doing an ad campaign.

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