Phil Mickelson Tees Up Friendship Advice in Ads for Amstel Light

Carmichael Lynch goes 'In the Rough'

You're a middle-aged dude seeking advice about male friendships. Who can you turn to for sagely advice?

Phil Mickelson, of course!

The golf legend and holder of five major PGA titles counsels bros in a series of shorts for Heineken-owned Amstel Light. Lefty hangs out on a folding chair "In the Rough," soaking up the shade, downing brews and dispensing guidance that tends to revolves around sharing Amstel Lights:

In the Rough with Phil Mickelson - The Phone Number
In the Rough with Phil Mickelson - Your Wife's Friends
In the Rough with Phil Mickelson - Make Friends

"Oftentimes, when a guy hits his ball into the rough, there's something else in his life that is also astray," the Mick quips at one point, adding: "A lot of a guys struggle with adult male friendships. I mean, not me. I'm Phil Mickelson."

As we learn from the spots, he's happy to help. Just don't ask for his phone number. Phil Mickelson doesn't play that game!

"Amstel Light, like many beers, is about friendship. But as we dug into that, we came upon an important insight: Many men of a certain age have a really hard time making friends," says Josh Leutz, executive creative director at Carmichael Lynch, which developed the campaign as its first work for the brand. Max Sherman of Anonymous directed.


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"In the Rough" broke wide on TV last weekend during the U.S. Open (which might prove Mickelson's last as a player), but it was filmed pre-Covid and was slated to run on digital and social during the spring. That plan was scrapped owing to the pandemic-driven cancellation of global sports, including the Open, which had been scheduled for June.

Even so, CL kept Mickelson's profile high in the interim with a cardboard cutout giveaway and by posting "In the Rough" online. Such efforts scored with distributors and fans, helping the campaign get fresh life on NBC and the Golf Channel when media dollars became available.

Mickelson's intense, deadpan performance holds it all together. Lefty seems a tad on edge and perturbed throughout, an approach that suits the material to a T.

Going in, Leutz says he had no idea what comic skills, if any, Mickelson would bring to the table, "but he was incredibly kind and generous—and funny. He came prepared, knew all his lines, had great questions and thoughts on where to take things. Super quick. Super smart. He really stuck the landing on some challenging bits of dialogue on the first take."

CREDITS

Title: In the Rough 

Client: Amstel Light
VP, Marketing, Emerging Brands: Jessica Robinson
Brand Director, Amstel Light & Cider: TJ Keighley
Head of Partnerships and Engagement: Quinn Kilbury
Brand Manager, Emerging Brands: David Smith 

Agency: Carmichael Lynch
Chief Creative Officer: Marty Senn
Exec Creative Director: Josh Leutz
Senior Writer: Chris Vandersall
Senior Art Director: Samantha Perry
Senior Designer: Andrew Wetzel
Head of Production: Orlee Tatarka
Senior Content Producer: Henni Iwarsson
Business Manager: Vicki Oachs 
Account Management Team: Jennifer Corrigan, Brad Wellman
Project Manager: Lisa Brody
Brand Planning: Lachlan Badenoch

Production Company: Anonymous Content 
Director: Max Sherman 
Managing Director: Eric Stern
Executive Producer: Lori Stonebraker 
Line Producer: Laura Miller 
Director of Photography: Alexis Zabe 

Edit House: Cut+Run 
Editor: Pete Koob 
Assistant Editor: Stefan Manz 
Executive Producer: Deanne Mehling
Producer: Jess Mora
VFX House / Online Artist(s): Taylor James 
Telecine: Company 3/Tim Masick 
Audio Mix: Grey Ghost/Greg Geitzenauer 
Sound Design: Grey Ghost
Post Production Audio Producer: Laurel Turek
VFX House: Taylor James
Post Producer: Yvonne Apollonio

On-camera talent: Phil Mickelson (Phil Mickelson)
Steven Pritchard (Man in “Questions” and “Man Friends”)
Kevin Garbee (Man in “Wife’s Friends”)
Kevin Kirkpatrick (Man in “Phone Number”)

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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