Thursday April 8th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the Tiger Woods ad.

I had a great sleep last night so I'm feeling up to this one.


For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Nike has released their first Tiger Woods ad since it was revealed he is a cheating whore. Here it is:

The voice you hear belongs to Tiger’s deceased father – I’m not sure when or why the recording was originally made.

Apparently – and not surprisingly – it has stirred up a bit of controversy. Allow me to preface my thoughts on it by saying that:

a) I don’t give a crap about Tiger Woods.
b) I don’t give a crap about Nike.

I do, however, hold a bachelor’s degree in Marketing that’s been busy collecting dust for the last nine years, so the following thoughts are not being pulled completely out of my nether regions. Just mostly.

My thoughts on the spot can be summed up pretty succinctly: it does its job.

Do I like it? I haven’t decided yet. What do I think of the use of his dead father’s recorded message? It’s extremely effective but I’m not sure I like it.

But the main point I want to address is this: people are complaining that it has nothing to do with shoes. Well guess what? There is no way in hell it should be.

There is no way the first commercial after his personal life fell to pieces while the whole world watched could have been, “Hey I’m Tiger Woods for Nike. I use their shoes, clothing, and golf equipment and so should you!” There is no way the first commercial could have been standard footage of Tiger hitting golf balls on fairways and putting them into holes. Nike could not have in any way shape or form pretended that it was just business as usual.

Of course it’s not about the shoes. It couldn’t have been.

This is the beginning of the transition back to normal. I doubt the second commercial will have anything to do with shoes either. Probably not the third either. But each one is likely to move closer to that point. Nike made the choice to not drop their sponsorship agreement with Tiger, so now it’s their job to get their money’s worth out of his tainted, filthy star.

And you know what? It’s working. When was the last time they got this sort of attention? When was the last time Nike was being discussed in coffee shops, at water coolers, in lunchrooms? When this comes on TV you can bet that everyone in the room is paying attention.

Like I said, it’s doing its job. Whether that job should be done at all is another matter entirely.


Greg said...

That's a well-thought out little editorial (have I mentioned before that I really like your editorials?) on the advert. Sadly, despite the attempts of several marketers over the years I've been providing training, I've not yet crept over to that dark side (although I'm getting disturbingly better at spotting unethical opportunities...).
That said, I get your point, and I think it's made well. The ad's too hard not to discuss once you've seen it, especially since everyone seems to have an opinion on what he's done. Less so here in the UK, but then he's not one of our sports stars!
I don't actually like it though; the voice over takes far too long considering we can't see the speaker. But that's a personal thing.

The Tiger Woods ad

"Hey, look at this," drawled Sasha, waving a magazine in the general direction of the other hetaerae. "George has got an answer to his ad!"
"Which one?" asked Trishanie, still trying to iron her work-negligée.
"The one where he offers to dress up as Tiger Woods and meet on a golf course...."
The girls burst into laughter that quickly died away into a thoughtful silence, each wondering what variation on it they could offer.

Marc said...

Yeah, I'm sure it would be a bigger story over there if he played football instead of golf :)

That's a delightfully disturbing snippet of a scene you have there. Nicely done!