Reactions Mixed to Tiger Woods’ New Nike Ad

Discussion
Apr 09, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A number of companies that paid Tiger Woods to pitch their products and services
chose to part ways with the golfer after details of his extramarital affairs
became both news and fodder for late night hosts.

Mr. Woods chose the Masters Tournament to make his return to golf and Nike
decided to use the event to create a new commercial that shows Mr. Woods staring
into the camera while his father, Earl Woods, who died in 2006 from prostate
cancer asks, “Did you learn anything?” Check out the 30 second spot below.

Reaction to the commercial has been mixed, although it’s safe to say it is
not comfortable to view. What, if anything, it does for Nike and Mr. Woods
remains to be seen.

Discussion Questions: What do you think of Nike’s new commercial with Tiger
Woods? Does it help or hurt Mr. Woods’ attempts to rehabilitate his public
image? How will it affect the perception of Nike as a brand?

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21 Comments on "Reactions Mixed to Tiger Woods’ New Nike Ad"


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Dick Seesel
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

My own reaction to this ad is equally mixed. On the surface, it’s deeply uncomfortable to watch — and to realize that Tiger’s late father is acting as the “still, small voice” of conscience. It’s also disconcerting to think that Nike and Tiger are using the power of marketing to salvage their brand images in such a blatant way.

But it’s hard to beat the spot as an arresting, forthright way to deal with the “noise” of the past four months. And it’s certainly more appropriate than running a “business as usual” spot pitching the swoosh or Tiger’s branded apparel and equipment.

Kevin Graff
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

If the objective of marketing is to get others to notice, then who could argue that this ad isn’t a winner? After all, aren’t we all talking about it here this morning? And on social network sites everywhere?

There are lots of ads where the content is goofy, irritating, annoying, and downright questionable. Most of the time they don’t work. This one is getting attention (even if negative), so maybe we should just hope that all ads get so much exposure and chatter.

Rick Moss
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Nike has a huge amount of brand equity (i.e. a lot at stake) and, to me, this is foolishly irresponsible. Yes, it gets our attention and I believe a good number of people will feel queasy next time they contemplate buying a Nike product. At some point, you have to let the guy go. He simply shouldn’t be representing brands anymore. (And frankly, I feel insulted that I’m expected to have enough in common with this man to feel sympathy for his plight.)

David Livingston
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

In our US society, men are often considered heroes for their sexual conquests. John Edwards, Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, Charlie Sheen, etc. It only ads to their mystique and image. Tiger Woods is no different. It’s elevated him to a higher level. Doesn’t seem right but that’s the way it is. Kind of the James Bond effect.

Max Goldberg
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Nike has never been afraid to stir controversy with its commercials. This one is no exception. The commercial will generate discussion and lots of online viewing. It won’t hurt Nike. I’m not sure it will help Tiger.

Mark Burr
Guest
11 years 1 month ago
Shameless and disgusting seem like too soft of words but appropriate for both Nike and Tiger. Out of one side of his mouth he claims to need privacy and time to allow both himself and most importantly his family to heal. Out of the other comes this. It seems to negate the sincerity of his desire for the prior. The words of Billy Payne, Chairman at Augusta seem to not be covered as loudly as they should have, but they were the best so far–“It is simply not the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here. It is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children.” Take my view as potentially cynical that we might expect characters to live up to positions they are given with out earning and proving themselves worthy. In this case, it’s true that it was neither earned or worthy, but the role… Read more »
J. Peter Deeb
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

I think the ad is genius! Nike is asking the question that many people would like to and they are getting the same response that everyone has who tries to probe Tiger Woods. The difference is that Nike has decided to be proactive with their sponsorship and they probably hope that this will bring closure to the unfaithful issue and (along with a good showing at the Masters by Tiger) let golf and specifically Nike golf equipment and apparel once again become a positive with Tiger Woods as the spokesperson.

Isn’t this much better than the holier-than-thou public chastisement that Billy Payne gave in his Masters speech?

Richard Miller
Guest
Richard Miller
11 years 1 month ago

Just the fact that the ad was controversial enough to warrant this survey means it has already achieved some level of success. Nike has always pushed the envelope (remember Charles Barkley…”I am not a role model”). People may like or dislike the ad content, but they’ll remember it and remember the brand.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Yes, everyone is talking about this ad, but most think it’s deeply creepy. Bizarre.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

I play golf and use the Nike brand ball. My first view of this commercial made me feel uncomfortable and unsure why Nike would go to this extreme to promote the brand. Certainly if Tiger wanted this behind him as he stated in his recent press conference, this did not do it. It actually brought back the reminders of the past five months. I was hoping Tiger just wanted to play golf and not capitalize on this issue. It appears Nike went in the opposite direction.

David Livingston
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Men are admired primarily for three things. 1. Success in athletics, 2. Financial success, and 3. Success with desirable women. Tiger has scored the big trifecta. The three combined makes him an almost unstoppable force when it comes to brand image.

Linda Bustos
Guest
Linda Bustos
11 years 1 month ago

I think this ad is a subtle way of grooming the public to embrace Tiger again. His father does not rebuke, he takes a very soft approach of “let’s start a discussion.” He focuses on Tiger’s thoughts, feelings and learnings from the experience. This is an approach that removes any judgment, it seeks to sympathize with Tiger first, and focus finally on what he’s learned (now he’s a better person for it) so we can all move on. Is Nike suggesting we should approach this the same way?

If Tiger was feeling lonely, neglected by his wife or something that people could sympathize with–does this make Tiger’s actions OK? If a 17 year old Tiger stole Daddy’s car, had a bit too much to drink and crashed the car into a telephone pole, would you expect his father to merely ask “I want to know what you were thinking, how you were feeling and what you learned from this?”

I think not.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 1 month ago

Strange ad. I think I prefer him smiling behind the wheel of an Enclave. And did I miss something? What was his answer?

Rick Moss
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

David…sorry, I could not abide…”Success with desirable women”? So, from this twisted moral perspective, Tiger Woods has successful relationships with women? The woman I am most concerned about being successful with is my wife. I guess I’m in the minority, these days. It pains me to think the campaign will successfully convince people fidelity is something we can attend to only when we get caught.

Edward Herrera
Guest
Edward Herrera
11 years 1 month ago

I hope people look deeper into the message then the skepticism of marketing. We are a forgiving nation if you change your behavior. People want and need heroes that they can relate with. When Tiger puts on his golf cape he is a super hero to many.

The entire key is, did Tiger learn anything from his mistakes? In the new cognitive approach age, people have all the information from the beginning of time at their disposal. Nike will win big on their loyalty to Tiger if he can stay on the train.

Al Haberstroh
Guest
Al Haberstroh
11 years 1 month ago

When I first saw the ad I thought, “What was Nike thinking?” Is Nike all about Tiger or is it about selling golf shoes and equipment?

The first research on the ad’s effectiveness confirms my judgment with Nike’s favorability rank among viewers dropping 13% and 29% of ad viewers saying they are less likely to purchase Nike products as a result of the ad. Tiger’s rank dropped only slightly, however.

A March 2010 Harris poll shows that college educated and more affluent consumers are much more likely to avoid a brand whose ads they find distasteful. If the idea of this ad was to elevate Nike’s brand image, they scored a double bogey.

Robert Straub
Guest
Robert Straub
11 years 1 month ago

The word disingenuous comes to mind.

David Livingston
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Rick, you have to remember that Tiger Woods for most people is a character played by himself on TV. He’s like an actor in a movie. If we didn’t have Tiger Woods then Hollywood would have created him. Tiger Woods is like James Bond, JR Ewing, Elvis, Tony Soprano, etc. Really popular TV shows and movies usually contain a male hero who has a lot of money and a lot of women. For all we know, Tiger Woods could be the most moral person in the world and all this recent hype could simply be a publicity stunt.

All we know is what we see on TV or read in the papers. This could be about as real as wrestling. What is most important is Tiger’s ability to separate as much cash as possible from consumers’ pockets and into the hands of Nike stockholders.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
11 years 1 month ago

Reports indicate that Earl Woods was a womanizer like his son. Thus, his advice to his son or to anyone on the topic of marital fidelity comes from a questionable place. I recently read this historical view of the kinds of behavior we tolerate from our leaders and other public figures: President Eisenhower was known for telling the occasional racial joke on the golf course without suffering any public rebuke. Bill Clinton infamously had sex with an intern in the White House while president, but is much admired by many today. Now, imagine if these two transgressions were reversed – Eisenhower indulging in Oval Office dalliances with an intern and Clinton telling racial jokes. The public outrage would have been deafening and long lasting.

Our values change, some for the better and some not. Tiger could begin to put his problems in the rear view mirror if Nike would just leave it alone, but that’s not Phil Knight’s nature.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

OK, having studiously avoided it for the past few days, I finally went ahead and watched the spot–the things I do for RW!–and I find my views somewhat different than the others expressed here; I don’t find the ad eerie, nor do I have mixed feelings about it; instead I think it is 100% designed to pander to the Tiger-is-God cult, those who follow his every move, even when they lack interest or meaning (has there ever been an ad that has absolutely nothing to say about either the product or spokesperson, other than that they are so egotistical to think that we can’t live without seeing them…constantly?)

So in that perverse sense, I suppose the spot solidifies the brand image of both.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
11 years 1 month ago

Let’s stop making people who can put a ball in a hole, hoop, between two vertical posts, or knock over a wooden dowel, anything more than people who are singularly focused on only playing a game. There are much bigger people who toil unnoticed, trying to make the world a better place for mankind. Nike should give a matching gift to what they spend on sports stars, to charity.

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