“While we’re young!” USGA beseeches players to speed up their game.
June 19, 2013
I’m not much of a golf fan and even worse a player but like a growing number of people I do watch some of the bigger tournaments. During the US Open last week I caught an hour or so of Sunday’s finish in the locker room at my health club. (There’s nothing like watching golf with a bunch of semi-naked, old white dudes to remind me why the sport doesn’t do it for me.)
Keeping my eyes firmly on the TV, I did bear witness to a new ad campaign from the USGA beseeching players of the game to pick up the pace. According to the press release, which I found on a related website:
“Borrowing the iconic line from the character played by Rodney Dangerfield in the classic 1980 film Caddyshack®, the campaign takes a lighthearted and comedic approach to encourage golfers of all skill levels and golf course facilities to join a movement to improve pace of play and reduce the time it takes to play the game.”
Apparently, in the rarified world of golf slow play is a real problem. As I recall, men used to blame women for damming up golf courses. But a lot of those complainers were old folks and aren’t they slow by design? Maybe if they all juiced with HGH instead of prunes…
But I digress.
The campaign is comprised of five TV spots (found here) and a microsite created by a consortium of agencies, led by Jimmy Siegel Creative Services, ADDigital, Platinum Rye Talent and Dentino Marketing. While I’ve never heard of these agencies, I must say they did a pretty good job.
The commercials are funny and well produced, featuring the game’s top talent, past and present. Golfers like Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. Hollywood icons join in the fun. The brief and charmingly strained stare-off between Arnold Palmer and Clint Eastwood (a la Clint’s Spaghetti Westerns) is, shall we say, well played.
Whether or not this is a cause worth having, I really like the use of Dangerfield’s catch phrase “While We’re Young.” Though completely appropriate, it’s unexpected and even edgy. As pointed out, right or (mostly) wrong the stereotype for golf is that it’s an old game played by old people. Not only does the theme line urge players to get a move on but it also imbues the sport with youthful tonic.
Even though the pro-game has gotten younger and more diverse, making swiftness a priority gives the game spin it continues to need if it wants to keep up with the high flying dunks and smash mouth play of other sports.
For those unfamiliar with Rodney Dangerfield’s epic turn in Caddyshack, here’s the bit featuring “While we’re young!” Yes, that’s the equally hilarious Ted Knight he’s harassing…