In development for more than five years, Taylor Made sold about $18 million worth of Burner Bubbles within a year. Executives at Taylor Made Golf Co. estimate more than 1 million golfers are playing with new Burner Bubble irons (retailing at $900 a set) and woods (retail at $300 apiece).
As part of its strategy, Taylor Made introduced the Burner Bubble to the Professional Golfer's Association Tour about eight months prior to its consumer launch in late 1994. A handful of golf pros, including Mark O'Meara and Lee Janzen, currently use the clubs.
"We wanted to make the club very visible during tournament coverage," says George Montgomery, Taylor Made's VP-marketing. "We chose the Bubbles' copper color to make the club recognizable on TV and in the stores."
Similarly, the name Burner Bubble-despite consumers' claims that bubbles always burst-was chosen because of its memorability and high recall rates.
"It's all about visibility," says Mr. Montgomery, who's an avid golfer himself.
Mr. Montgomery also launched an estimated $30 million TV and print campaign, from Bozell/Salvati Montgomery Sakoda, Costa Mesa, Calif. While Taylor Made had typically used 65% of its ad budget for print and 35% for TV, the marketer put 60% of its budget in TV to launch the Bubbles.
Taylor Made also created an infomercial and a site on the Internet's World Wide Web (http://www.taylormade.com) to help tell the story behind the Bubble technology.
Next on the tee: stepping up the marketing of the "Champagne Burner Bubble" targeted to lady linksters. About 87% of Burner Bubble users are men.