Tuesday, April 13

Tiger Woods for Nike

I finally got the chance to view the new Nike commercial featuring Tiger Woods and his Dad. The chatter has been circulating around the Internet and I have been dying to view it and weigh in.

Take a look at it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NTRvlrP2NU

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to think at first. It's haunting. The look on his face as you hear the voice of his now deceased father is just plain haunting.

On first viewing, I can totally see why people are up in arms. It feels like Tiger Woods is stooping low by using his Dad to basically cover his butt. I understand the argument. But after viewing it a few times, my feelings started to change. I guess partly because I stopped viewing it as a consumer, and started evaluating it as a marketer.

As a consumer, I think that you'll view the ad entirely the way you view Tiger Woods. If you like him, particularly for his golf, you'll think the ad is breakthrough. If you don't like him, particularly for his personal behavior, then you're not going to like it ... no way no how. I am not a big fan, so after my first viewing I have to say that I cringed a little.

Viewing it as a marketer, though, gave me a different perspective. When you look at this from Nike's perspective, the brand had to do something. Tiger Woods is a huge asset to the brand, especially to the golf franchise. The damage has to have been enormous and Nike had to do something to put this in the past.

So creating this dramatic, personal reflection is a way for Nike to take the emphasis off "Tiger the behavior" and put it back on "Tiger the person". Give him a vehicle to say that he has learned something from all of this. He is reflecting, growing, and changing as a result (and his Dad is still helping him).

Either way, it is a very bold move on the part of Nike and the brand has moved up a notch or two in my mind. Whether you like Tiger or not, you have to give the Nike brand props for "putting it out there." They are addressing the issue head on, and putting it right on the table for us to evaluate and discuss. In a very Nike way.

And boy are we discussing! As consumers and as marketers.

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I completely agree! As a publicist I thought it was brilliant and refreshing approach (as a consumer I cringed). Typically brands drop the implicated talent immediately, but resign them as soon as the dust settles. Just look at the success of Kate Moss. I thought it was very brave on behalf of both Nike and Tiger to LITERALLY face the public head on, stare us down and say "I'm not going anywhere." It will be very exciting to track Nike sales.

  2. Great article on the viral nature of the commercial and all of the knock-offs. Did Nike purposefully plan? Hmmmm.