Thursday, April 22, 2010

K Club in the News

An interesting piece of coverage on the K Club, in the Irish Times today (22/4/10). On the front page there’s a 21cm x 3 column ad, entitled ‘A view to wake up to’, with an aerial shot down the 16th fairway towards the hotel in the distance, and the Liffey slipping serpentine through the shot.

[Photo: par three 3rd]
The front page of the Property Section, meanwhile, shows the K Club hotel in all its glory, with the headline “Gannon to sell 49% share in K Club”, and a lengthy piece about how Gerry Gannon is selling his share in the K Club (that he owns with Michael Smurfit), as he is slightly strapped for cash at the moment. I wonder how Michael is managing over in Monte Carlo!
These two pieces make an interesting pair. Was it intentional that they appear on the same day? Who knows, but the ad is one of the biggest wastes of money I’ve seen in a long time. It is neither one thing (the preening snobbery we are used to), nor the other (promoting great value breaks/golf/accommodation etc.). It tells you almost nothing apart from the activities on offer. There are no brand values coming through in the ad, the design is average and the photograph rather pointless.

[Photo: the par four 15th, taken from the 13th green]
And yes, I worked in advertising for many years so I am speaking with some knowledge on the matter. Personally, I suspect the K Club got wind that Gannon’s sale was going to take a high profile slot in the Property section, and this was a knee-jerk reaction to counter it. In any book – apart from Ryanair’s perhaps – that’s bad marketing.
I’ll finish by commenting that I really enjoy the Palmer course – it’s a really good track and I had the pleasure of playing it twice last summer. And with green fees still at good value - €75 approx. – it is worth a trip if you’ve never been. The Smurfit course, however, leaves me cold – a bit like their ad.

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