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October 13, 2015

Why Nike Deserves Cursing For Its Tiger Woods Ad

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 9th 2010 4:03PM
Nike's Tiger Woods adThe Tiger Woods story has become a beast that cannot be fed, no matter how many bloody human entrails you stuff in its perpetually open maw.

Tiger's never-ending reach for forgiveness and redemption has been more thoroughly covered than my late grandmother's living room couch. It's turned the news into a supermarket tabloid. It's turned 'SportsCenter' into a Lifetime made-for-TV movie.

And now, with Nike's new Tiger ad, it's turned commercials, my one measly break from this love-to-hate lovefest, into another creepy, lurid, sex-soaked look at a superstar's human indiscretions.

Looking at the ad simply as a piece of media and fifteen seconds of running frames, yes, it's downright creepy. It's filmed in this grainy black and white film that looks like it's been treated in a pizza oven for a few hours. The whole ad has this weird French romance film quality to it, like Tiger is going to be slapped any minute by some disembodied hand.

In fact, the first time I saw the spot, I kept waiting for that slap. I'm sure a lot of people were already doing it for them by smacking their TVs with the business side of their hands.

Then it had the gall to use the late Earl Woods, Tiger's father, to provide some sort of introspection or deep meaning for what's clearly a redemption video, not just for Tiger but for the media empire. Earl was Tiger's mentor and hero as Joel pointed out, and if anyone could provide the athlete with some kind of hard lesson to learn, it's him.

But using Earl's voice in the context of a commercial just makes it feel seedy and dirty. It reminds me of those old beer commercials that digitally inserted images of John Wayne into the frame to help them hawk the watered-down goodness of Coors Light.

That's my chief concern. It's a commercial. Tiger might be seeking some kind of inner peace and introspection, but in a commercial, he's also doing it so he doesn't lose the large chunk of change Nike is paying him. Hijacking a dead man's voice to save face may not be illegal, but it just feels strangely wrong and morally questionable, especially in the present circumstances.

If Earl were still alive and had to witness the ensuing chaos of his son's misdeeds, would they have run the same ad? I don't doubt that Earl would remain by his son's side and even have asked those same questions of him, but it sure as hell wouldn't be in the context of a commercial.

More than anything else, it's been designed and produced solely to get people talking about it. Mission accomplished, Nike.

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Just Do It. Nike... and Tiger.

April 12 2010 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

-- I don't doubt that Earl would remain by his son's side and even have asked those same questions of him, but it sure as hell wouldn't be in the context of a commercial. --

It's not totally out of the realm of possibility that, were his dad alive, he would lend his voice to an ad precisely as a way of remaining by his son's side. I'm not saying he would or wouldn't but can you really know that it sure as hell wouldn't happen?

April 12 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My life would be so much better if we could just put Tiger Wood's failings to bed already - sorry for the pun. This country's fascination with him is ridiculous, the media's fascination is ridiculous, and NOW Nike's ad is ridiculous. I don't care one way or another if Tiger is sorry or if he's learned his lesson - I would have liked to see the new style of Nike's shoes though - sighhhhhh - guess I'm old fashion.

April 10 2010 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I must be watching the right channels or something - I've managed to avoid about 90% of the Tiger Woods Redemption Tour. That includes the commercial this post is about, although I expect I'll see it eventually.

I suspect the whole thing's such a big deal because a) Tiger Woods had such a "boy scout" reputation and b) you don't often see a high-profile sex scandal in the golf world.

April 10 2010 at 1:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to RobynM's comment

Tiger Woods would be my hero if he wouldn't bow down to his people/fans/media. Everyone knows you should never apologize or admit fault, its deny, deny, deny, deny. Frankly i dont believe he did anything wrong, he cheated on his wife? I mean who doesn't cheat on their wives? He lied about cheating on his wife? Who doesn't lie these days? Whoever his PR agent or company, he should of fired them, I would of done a media blackout/silence, keep on denying and never comment or respond to any further allegations from his so called mistresses. The PR company should of spin and deflect all of this, Tiger is wasting his money on an incompetent PR firm.

April 10 2010 at 2:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ashe, you clearly don't grasp that those PR firms are doing exactly what they should/need to do to keep the gravy train rolling. So far it has worked spectacularly. Now Tiger just has to perform well at the Masters and the recovery will be complete.

April 10 2010 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nike = genius. Everybody on the radio was saying the words over and over and over. Brilliant. Ever hear anyone say Reebok? Asics? Adidas? Nope.

April 10 2010 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Tiger just made himself look even worse. How low will he go? Maybe he'll use his kids next to deflect his terrible behavior. Disgusting.

April 10 2010 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What is just as stupid is that Earl Woods was just as bad for womanizing as his son is. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. It's ridiculous that they used him since the father was no better.

April 09 2010 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't know Tiger was on Flashfoward and V. Maybe I should go to those posts and read about it.

April 09 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debi Drecksler

Well Said!


April 09 2010 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rosemary Hirsch

What a shame in this age of horrid commerialism. Nike uses a dead man's voice (Earl Woods) to chastise the voice's son, Tiger Woods, in order to sell more Nike products. Is it suppose to be "the voice from the grave" admonishing his son, Tiger, in order that we should all run out and buy more Nike so both Nike and son, Tiger, make more millions via the use of a deceased man? By the way, Earl Woods cheated on his wife, too.

April 09 2010 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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