The Loop

When print is better than the real thing

January 08, 2013

If you're really in a lather about the new drivers coming to the market, television, even in high-definition, simply won't satisfy the urge to experience one of these clubs up close in personal. And since most of the latest introductions won't be in stores until next month, you'll have to wait.

Unless of course you happen to pick up the latest copy of Golf Digest on the newsstand. The February issue includes links to a new advertising platform dubbed "augmented reality" that lets you "virtually" hold in your hands new drivers from both TaylorMade and Ping.

By downloading a mobile app, readers can utilize their digital devices to gain a three-dimensional sense of a club's features, in this case the new TaylorMade R1 and the Ping G25. Users can zoom in and rotate the club, as well as access additional information about a club's technology.

"Leveraging augmented reality to help tell a product story is a first for us and we are really proud of the way it turned out," said Bob Maggiore, TaylorMade Golf Chief Marketing Officer. "The new R1 driver is so dynamic that we wanted to provide consumers with an interactive platform to 'play' with the club before they can actually get it in their hands."

The "augmented reality" idea is the buzzword in media today as some manufacturers present products that let consumers experience every aspect of a product. In one example, a cosmetics company produced an ad that lets the consumer experience an entire range of fingernail polish colors on their own "virtual" hands. In a recent conference on the media, Jess Butcher, CMO & Founding Director at Blippar, a company that speciallizes in mobile augmented reality platform development, referred to the new technology as the "Harry Potter-ification" of print media.

"It's all about the content," she says. "It's not about how it's being delivered, it's about what is being delivered. Is it compelling? Is it exclusive? ... Is it good enough to make a consumer take their phone out of their pocket, open an app, and 'blip.'"

Given that golf companies have already been exploring and using the same sort of CGI animation technology in their launch monitor and ballflight analysis software that has been utilized in blockbuster movies, it seems only natural that they might also bring that technology to their marketing efforts, too.