A More Believable Tiger Woods’ Nike Ad Campaign

April 8, 2010

I am sure by now most of us have seen the new Nike commercial with Tiger Woods – 30 seconds of Tiger looking somewhat contrite into the camera while his deceased father’s words pipe down from somewhere – heaven? 

Earl’s voice reassuringly speaks to his son; “I want to find out what your thinking was….. I want to find out what your feelings are and did you learn anything”

I don’t know about everyone else but I keep waiting for Tiger to respond – “Yeah, I learned it sucks to get caught!” 

Aside from being tacky, I don’t believe the message – it’s not authentic.  Is this what big bucks with Wieden + Kennedy buys you?  Are they really trying to re-brand Tiger as someone who is sorry for being a philanderer and that somehow has “learned his lesson” and won’t do it again?  Please, do we look that stupid?

I have written about Tiger before – back in December when he posted his “I want privacy” plea on his website.  My contention then was that he would need to re-brand but that he didn’t get to do it in private.  I still believe Tiger needs re-branding.  But in my humble opinion he needs a NEW brand – I don’t want to be asked to believe that a double-digit mistress count was a tiny life hiccup and that he is restored to his family-man golf-deity status.

So, I can trash the new Nike creative ‘til the cows come home but what good is that if I don’t offer up a solution?  What brand would we believe?  I hearken back to a much more believable Nike re-branding of Charles Barkley, “I am not a role model”.  In thirty odd seconds Charles reminds us that he is paid to ‘wreak havoc’ on the basketball court NOT to raise our children.  I respect that brand– it’s authentic, sustainable and powerful.  Nicely done, W+K. 

And, while Nike hasn’t come knocking on my door for creative in the Tiger Woods’ re-branding mission, I will kindly offer up my idea, gratis: Tiger = golf and Nike sells golf balls, right?  So, why not take a fun ‘in your face, Tiger accepts who he is and many wish they could have the talent, fame, money and let’s face it, women he had’ approach.

I suggest to you and Nike, the following:

Maybe this is EXACTLY what keeps Nike from calling, who knows?  At least I get to share my absurd, ballsy thoughts in my MarketingSmack.  More Smack can be found on www.marketingsmack.wordpress.com or visit us at www.summitstrategypartners.com.

Note: This ad creation is a Jack Perez only special – neither approval nor endorsement was received from either Tiger Woods or Nike.  

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6 Responses to “A More Believable Tiger Woods’ Nike Ad Campaign”

  1. Jules Says:

    I guess the thing is that what you are looking at here is a classic piece of partner marketing Jack. There is no way that Nike + Tiger’s “Team” would let that fly.

    Personally I would sneer a bit at the lewdness of your suggested alternative too, (coming from a woman that ran a series of campaigns with a woman in her underwear in WIRED, you might find that hard to believe!!!!).

    I think that there is a stronger message to come out of this about resilience in the face of all conditions – about sport not being sullied by personal issues – a bit like that brilliant bit of product placement in the “What women want” Nike campaign – no games, just sport…

    As a parent, I don’t buy the whole role model gambit anyway and try to get my kids to admire sports and entertainment people for their spirit and abilities ALONE. I’m guessing that that is the bigger issue here … sports people as biblical-style role models. Really?


  2. Yes, Jules I whole heartedly agree with your position that “stars” – in whatever format (sports, politics and entertainment) need to be kept in perspective for our kids.

    You did an ad campaign with a woman in a bra? I would love to see it.

    Yes my ad is a bit lewd but I wanted to really push my point….


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jay Cuthrell. Jay Cuthrell said: A More Believable Tiger Woods’ Nike Ad Campaign http://bit.ly/90nacL /cc @cc_chapman […]

  4. Ginger Says:

    Love the concept! I continue to be floored at how “the public” feels sports figures are in any way role models. Except perhaps role models for making big bucks. Using a sports euphemism, why not call it as you see it? Nicely done!

  5. Annette Says:

    great response – the new Nike ad was a disappointment and I agree, completely lacked in being genuine and sincere. It seems that Nike is almost taking some pride in “standing by their man”, as most sponsors left months ago. And for better or worse, numerous celebs/athletes have successfully rebounded. Martha Stewart went to jail (not rehab), and the public still embraces her, stock is doing well, etc…


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