Dissecting 3,500 Ads: The Secrets Behind TravisMathew's Top Performing Creative

Common Thread Collective

by Common Thread Collective

May. 30 2024

Welcome to another episode of "Outliers," where we delve into the most successful ads from some legendary ecommerce businesses.

In this series, we explore the history of one brand's creative performance to identify its best ads and learn what makes certain creatives outperform the rest. We then analyze these standout ads to glean insights and lessons that can inform and enhance future creative strategies.

Today, we’re looking at TravisMathew, an outstanding apparel company with some truly exceptional ads.


TravisMathew, now part of the Callaway family, has been a part of the CTC family for a long time.

For reference, TravisMathew is an apparel brand that began with roots in the golf space. As a men’s golf brand, their original focus on polos and apparel has since expanded into women’s, and youth, and shoes, and accessories across different categories.

We're dissecting over 3,500 ads that they have spent money on across the last three years — some with us and some before us — to understand what created these unique ads that significantly outperformed every other piece of creative. Then, what do we do in light of that information?

This is an incredible brand with beautiful products, beautiful photography, and amazing assets to work with.

As we’ve previously seen in this series, volume matters, and the more shots you take, the higher your chances of hitting those outliers.

Understanding the Outlier Through Context and Timing

To be data-driven, we start with analyzing the performance of these ads. The average spend per ad in this account is above average compared to other brands.

The median and mode within this account indicate that most ads spend minimal amounts, while a few top-weighted ads significantly raise the average to create ‘high-performing ads.’

What Is a High-Performing Ad?

High-performing ads are defined as those that are one standard deviation above the mean. For TravisMathew, about 1.7 percent of ads perform one standard deviation above the mean.

Notably, some ads are simply dynamic product ads (DPA), which often outperform others due to their connected data sets. When we exclude dynamic product ads and look only at graphic representations or videos, we see two individual ads that stand out.

These ads are still outliers, even without the DPAs. The reality of Facebook advertising is that most ads don't perform at an outlier level. Even with a brand like TravisMathew, most ads spend minimal amounts.

TravisMathew outlier ads

One of these top-performing ad, launched on April 3rd, 2023, features a simple product photo of shoes, while the other features a clear offer design around Father’s Day, one of the biggest moments of the year for TravisMathew.

These ads performed exceptionally well, not because of design, but context and timing.

The shoe ad was launched just before the Masters Tournament, which significantly boosted TravisMathew's visibility, especially when one of their sponsored athletes, John Rahm, won the tournament on April 9th. The Father’s Day ad also performed well because of its timing and clarity of offer.

TravisMathew boasts a diverse set of creative ads, from UGC and influencer content to celebrity endorsements. Despite having such varied and high-quality content, the simplest ads often perform the best due to their context and timing.

Great creative strategy is rooted in volume enablement. Understanding that only 1.7 percent of ads will be high performers means planning for volume. Taking more quality shots on goal increases the expected value of the ad account, even with a low success rate.

You need to develop a creative system that accepts the reality of the numbers and helps you succeed regardless. Plan for a 1.7 percent success rate and consistently produce quality ads to increase your chances of hitting those outliers.

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Common Thread Collective

Common Thread Collective is the leading source of strategy and insight serving DTC ecommerce businesses. From agency services to educational resources for eccomerce leaders and marketers, CTC is committed to helping you do your job better.

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