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October 31, 2014

Tiger Woods Nike Commercial: Manipulative or Moving?

by Chris Jordan, posted Apr 8th 2010 3:00PM
Why do I feel like I've just been manipulated?

Nike has just released its first post-scandal Tiger Woods commercial and Tiger doesn't say a word. Instead, we hear the voice of his late father, Earl Woods.Why do I feel like I've just been manipulated?

Nike has just released its first post-scandal Tiger Woods commercial and Tiger doesn't say a word. Instead, we hear the voice of his late father, Earl Woods.

"Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive and to promote discussion,'' says Earl Woods off camera while Tiger, filmed in black and white, looks less like a golf idol and more like an admonished child. "I want to find out what your thinking was and what your feelings are and did you learn anything.''

Tiger Woods Nike commercial


After the statement, the image cuts to black with a prominent Nike swoosh in the middle of the screen.

Earl Woods, who died in 2006, was a Vietnam vet and by all accounts a stand-up guy who coached and nurtured Tiger to stardom. The spot is a powerful statement of contrition and remorse. It works because it perhaps provides the greatest insight into Tiger's post-scandal persona -- he is wounded and sorry beyond words. So he turns to his dad, whose virtue and bearing are greater than his. In Tiger's retreat, we feel for him. He's a man-child whose ability to hit a golf ball is exceeded by his inability to conduct himself like an adult.

Yet, a dad has the wisdom to break it down and help move it forward, and for that we're there for Tiger, who makes his return to golf at the Masters Golf Tournament today.

But ...

It's a commercial. Tiger wears a Nike hat and vest in the spot, and, as stated, we're hit over the head with the Nike swoosh at the end. Tiger Woods needed to make a statement like this to square himself with his fans. Not to start selling clothes again.


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