Cameron Fleming is a strategist who’s still working on his shirt game.

Harry Rosen. Golf.

Outfitting golfers to win the game behind the game

Highlights

  • As part of an ongoing effort to diversify beyond the suit, Harry Rosen launched an expanded golf line-up.
  • We realized that, for social golfers, how you show up is as important as how you play. Harry couldn’t compete on performance, but we could win on style.
  • To capture attention during the Masters golf tournament, we “hijacked” the broadcast with our own version focused on fashion.
  • The campaign performed well above norms for brand recall and favourability, drove traffic to HarryRosen.com, and sold a lot of polos.

Case study

Challenge

Today’s Harry Rosen offers the full range of men’s clothing — not only classically tailored suits, but also casual clothes, sneakers, and even streetwear. But the outdated image of the retailer as the place your dad buys his suits lingers.

To overcome this, Harry has embarked on a series of initiatives to establish its style leadership by engaging different niche audiences.

One of those audiences: golfers.

Strategy

Interest in golf exploded during the pandemic, especially among young men. New club memberships surged 113% in 2020, according to ClubLink, and according to Golf Canada, 65% of new golfers were aged 18–34. “Golfcore” became a trend, with golf-inspired fashion showing up both on and off the course.

Perhaps this isn’t surprising — after all, golf is a social activity and a lifestyle as much as it’s a sport.

Success in golf is less about your score and more about spending quality time with friends and business associates. The unspoken social side of the competition starts before the round and continues through the 19th hole after the game. A bad outfit can lead to good-natured ribbing or, even worse, silent judgment.

We knew we couldn’t compete with Golf Town or pro shops on performance. But we could become the undisputed experts in golf… style. While there may be little Harry can do to improve your handicap, they can certainly make you look like you know what you’re doing.

Key insight

“Winning” in golf is about how you show up as much as how you play.

Idea

Hijack the Masters golf tournament to reveal the style game behind the sport.

Plan

We debuted the campaign during the most-watched event of the golf season, the Masters golf tournament.

Each Harry Rosen spot was designed to look and feel just like the broadcast it was interrupting — the same camera angles, the same graphics, the same sotto voce golf commentators. If you were watching the tournament in a bar, you might think the game was back on and pay attention.

The twist: the commentators weren’t talking about the players’ swings. Instead, they were critiquing their golf attire.

The scripts were written to give golf fans the pleasure of recognition. Double entendres (such as talking about one player’s improving “shirt game”) bridged the worlds of golf and fashion. Not everyone would get the jokes, but our target would delight in them.

To bring live excitement to the campaign, we also tweeted style commentary at the players in real time throughout the tournament. We applauded Tiger Woods’ colour coordination and Hovland Viktor’s pink pants.

When the Masters concluded, we created a 1:30-long mini “broadcast” of the “Harry Rosen Championship,” from which we pulled several :15 prerolls that ran on YouTube, in social, and in golf-related media.

The campaign continued down to the point of purchase. Digital display advertising featured Harry Rosen’s golf products, and in-store marketing featured golf-inspired headlines like “Ace the 19th,” referring to a common name for the round of drinks after the game.

Results

In one stroke, the campaign lofted Harry Rosen’s expanded golf offering right onto the green. We might not have won the green jacket, but we definitely sold some.

  • Golfers loved the ads: The campaign exceeded retail category norms for recall by 62% and more than doubled category norms for favourability.
  • Golf apparel sales soared: In particular, online sales of polo shirts surged 40% week-over-week after the launch. The lifestyle category (non-apparel products including putting greens and golf club covers) grew by a factor of 12.6 times.
  • Products sold out: Within the first two weeks of the campaign, clothing from the campaign had sold out (bad news if you liked that shirt with the palm trees on it.)
  • More people started to think of Harry for golf: Searches for golf apparel on HarryRosen.com rose 350% compared to the same period a year before.

Credits

Client
Harry Rosen
Agency
Zulu Alpha Kilo, Toronto
Chief Marketing Officer (Harry Rosen)
Trinh Tham
Director of Brand Marketing (Harry Rosen)
Kristin Meier
Brand Marketing Manager (Harry Rosen)
Tatiana Isaza
Manager, Fashion Product Marketing (Harry Rosen)
Zoë Innanen
Senior Manager, Performance Marketing and Media (Harry Rosen)
Paul Michel
Director, Omni-Channel Creative (Harry Rosen)
Christine Kwan
Manager, Content and Social Media (Harry Rosen)
Ben Kriz
Chief Creative Officer (Zulu)
Zak Mroueh
Executive Creative Director (Zulu)
Wain Choi
Creative Director / Copywriter (Zulu)
George Ault
Creative Director / Art Director (Zulu)
Jacob Gawrysiak
Executive Strategy Director (Zulu)
Heather Segal
Managing Directors (Zulu)
Jessica Hill, Robyn Morrissey
Account Director (Zulu)
Cosmo Haskard
Account Supervisor (Zulu)
Chris Rosario
Vice President, Business Solutions (Horizon Media)
Michael Mills
Associate Directors, Business Solutions (Horizon Media)
Robyn Van Driel, Tim Harris, Mark Paterson
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