In Topgolf's Weird Ads, Everyone's Got Hands for Heads

A madcap mix of CGI and custom headgear

The actors appearing in Topgolf's latest ads probably weren't clamoring for close-ups. Their faces don't appear at all. Instead, golf-gloved hands replace every single head.

Why would the sports bar/entertainment center chain and its agency, Anomaly, do such a thing?

The client says it's tapping into "the power of hand expressions, capturing the range of emotions players feel." So, in a sense, this is a kooky live-action cartoon mirroring emoji culture, expanding details "from the anticipation felt with each crack of the knuckles to finger waggles between players after particularly good shots."

Mostly, though, it's an excuse for memorable oddness. And really, if this sort of OTT absurdity doesn't differentiate your brand, what can?

Topgolf | Welcome to Topgolf

That's some of the year's goofiest creative. Hands down.

Led by directors Alex Mavor and Ed Kaye (aka Sacred Egg), the team used a mix of CGI and headgear to achieve the convincing/ludicrous effects. It's amusing and childish, but ever-so-slightly edgy and compelling, too. You keep expecting (praying for?) eyes, mouths, ears, noses and hair to appear. But that never happens. For a full surreal minute, the hands play through.

"The characters represent our belief in the power of play and the emotional resonance it makes you feel," says chief brand officer Geoff Cottrill. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like. We all experience the same emotions and expressions, and you don’t need faces to understand what every character is experiencing."

The work continues Topgolf's "Come Play Around" campaign across social, OOH, OLV, CTV and print.


Agency: Anomaly, New York
Founding Partner / Global CCO: Mike Byrne
Creative Director: Craig Schlesinger
Creative Director: Stephen Mendonca
Managing Partner, Head of Design: Kevin Lyons
Design Director: Luca Bernardino
Designer: Keller Grimmer
Head of Production: Erika Madison
Executive Producer: Chad Utsch
Director of Music Production: Ben Dorenfeld
Head of Business Affairs: Julia Clark
Project Director: Kathleen Owen
Managing Partner, Co-Head of Account Management: Damien Reid
Account Director: Emily Dondero
Account Supervisor: Hana Trattner

Production Company: Riff Raff Films
Director: The Sacred Egg
Owner / Executive Producer: Matthew Fone
Executive Producer: Matthew Clyde
Producer: Jay Wintringer
Production Supervisor: Scott Passey
Director of Photography: Tom Sigel
Stylist: Jenny Haapala
Production Design: Alessandra Cadman

Editorial Company: Work Editorial, New York
Editor: Biff Butler
Assistant Editor: Chris Wronka
Founding Partner: Jane Dilworth
Managing Director: Erica Thompson
Executive Producer: Alejandra Alarcon
Head of Production: Chris Delarenal
Producer: Andrea Cantor

Post Company: The Mill, London
VFX Shoot Supervisor: Jessica Groom
Head of Production / Executive Producer: Louise Unwin
Senior VFX Producer(s): Saskia Delius & Polly Roberts
Production Assistant: Sam Ashby
2D Lead Artist: Adrian Monroy Diaz, Peter Hodsman
3D Lead Artist: Kiril Mirkov, Mike Little, Laurent Giaume
2D Artist: Mithun Jacob Alex, Giacomo Verri, Marko Perendija
3D Artist: Jean Grandgirard, Jack Enever, Elia Goettlicher, Clementine Supiot, Luke Dadley, Paolo Ceresa, Thomas Craig
Animation Director: David Bryan
Finish Artist: Lora Nikolaeva
Colorist: Peter Oppersdorff & Katie Dymmock
Executive Producer, Color: Saskia Delius
Resource Manager: Jemma Beaumont
Color Assist: Rory Leighton, Caitlin Donaldson, Henry White & Kennedy Dawson

Audio Post: Heard City, New York
Music Supervision: Ricall Music
Song: "Fun" by Kaskade, Brohug, & Mr. Tape feat. Madge
VO Talent: Hally Leadbetter

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