The Story Behind Bubba Watson's Mysterious Hovercraft
The last time we remember Oakley being a big deal was in the '80s, when every upturned collar was accompanied by a pair of the shiny shades. But today the sunglass/sportswear brand has been making a lot of noise by partnering with golf pro Bubba Watson on an innovative new product -- a hovercraft golf cart.
On April 2nd, this video showing off the invention hit the interwebs. Turns out, it's another fine stunt via agency Thinkmodo, known for its attention-getting moves for brands like AMC, Cosmo and 20th Century Fox.
According to Thinkmodo partner/CD Michael Krivicka, Oakley tapped the agency to create a viral video campaign highlighting its sponsorship of 2012 Masters Champ Watson. The craft is for real -- the agency teamed with an Indiana-based hovercraft manufacturer to build the one-of-a-kind "Bubba Hover." The video itself was shot in Arizona last January.
The agency scheduled the video's launch for a week before The Masters Golf Tournament on April 11. "Timing is everything," Mr. Krivicka said. Within three days, the video saw more than 3 million views and Bubba Watson gained 100,000 new Twitter followers, he added. Moreover, web traffic for Oakley's main site is up 40% and sales have spiked.
"Oakley is now the most talked about sports brand during Masters season," said Mr. Krivicka. Just four days after launch, the viral has already made appearances on various media outlets, including GMA, CNN and The Today Show, with over 63 million total broadcast viewership in the U.S. alone.
"It's Thinkmodo's biggest viral marketing hit to date," Krivicka said.