Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nike Controversy

Nike has long been known for their commercials, and the new Tiger Woods Nike commercial is no exception. Unlike almost every other commercial that has come out the Nike/Woods marriage, or either of those participants, this new Nike Tiger Woods commercial has generated a mixed bag of reactions. Some even say it goes beyond controversial because it was made for the wrong reasons, but who is to know for sure?

For those who haven’t seen the commercial, it appears mundane at first as it is a straight ahead shot of Tiger Woods from the chest up. The expression on his face is a sullen mix of anguish, shame, and maybe a hint of remorse. Adding to that dark vibe is that the commercial was shot in black and white. There is no fist pumping Tiger Woods in his red shirt, no smiles, just pain. 

A voice enters, and lo and behold it is the voice of Earl Woods, Tiger’s late father. The message it conveys is something important he must heed:

“Tiger, I am prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?”
Did Tiger learn anything? 

Some people see this as a way of conveying the universally felt concern a father has for his son whenever they are faced with overwhelming issues that could change the course of their life. Then there is of course another camp that believes that Woods is using the spot to buy sympathy for himself and not have to open his mouth to get it. Some have even gone so far he is using the ad to capitalize on his infidelity and make a few bucks. While things are getting better for Tiger Woods to some degree, corporate sponsors aren’t exactly fighting with each other in heated bidding wars to win his endorsement right now. 

There is still another theory that Nike perhaps pressured Woods to do this commercial as rebuilding his image in the eyes of the public improves their bottom line financially. It is no secret that Nike has made a lot of money from their business relationship with Tiger Woods and basically centered their entire line of golf products around him. While the general public may never know if that is true or just rumor gone wild, it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened, so it is a legitimate possibility.

Whatever the reasons for the ad are, or how people feel about the words of the late Earl Woods being played in the 30 second clip, it is for each person to decide what they feel about it. Is this a genuine Tiger Woods reaching out, or is it just business as usual playing the only logical angle to get his face and name back on the TV screen with a pair of Nike logos on display? 

No matter what anyone takes from the Tiger Woods Nike commercial, people are talking about. Whether they like it or dislike they are tracking it down on Youtube, searching for answers as to why this particular type of ad was made, and wondering at least a little bit if maybe it is time to forgive and move on. Personally. I’d like to believe this is the final chapter and Tiger can go back to golf and his life, and the rest of us can let him do just that keeping in mind he’s human and that humans will always make mistakes.

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a sort of publicity stunt.
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