Tiger Woods’s New Nike Ad: Brilliant Branding or Just Plain Offensive?
“Did you learn anything?”
That is one of the questions that viewers hear the voice of Earl Woods (now deceased) ask his son Tiger in a recent Nike commercial. His voice is dubbed over the black and white video of Tiger Woods, who stands like a mannequin and stares sadly into the camera but never says a word. If you haven’t seen the commercial, you should check it out:
What are your first impressions of this Nike advertisement? Initially, I didn’t know what to think of the ad and I thought: “What does this have to do with golf or with Nike?” You may have had a similar reaction, and that’s only logical. However, I started to think a bit differently after viewing the commercial a few more times because Tiger’s haunting image stuck with me and just wouldn’t let go.
I would be lying if I said I don’t feel a bit sorry for Tiger Woods; after all, he’s not the only athlete, celebrity, or person to make a mistake and get caught. He’s only human, and that’s what I like about the Nike ad – it seems to humanize him rather than depict him as a superstar. Whether we want to believe it or not, celebrities aren’t superhuman. When you strip them down to their cores, they are just regular people like you or me…and everyone makes mistakes and has regrets. I believe that’s what this Nike ad is attempting to convey.
BUT…what exactly does this ad have to do with Nike? Well, other than the Nike hat and vest that Tiger sports in the video – nothing. It may be a bit unorthodox, but it’s still effective branding for Nike; the two Nike logos are visible for the entire duration and they’re emblazoned in your mind because Tiger barely moves. Plus, I found that the black and white contrast made the Nike logos pop out even more (if it had been in color, there wouldn’t have been as much of an impact). Not to mention, all of the buzz about this ad is probably generating a ton of interest in the Nike brand!
One of the most controversial topics regarding Nike’s ad is the use of Earl Woods’s voice. Some see it as an offensive attempt to inspire sympathy in viewers, and some see it as truly touching. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that aspect of the ad. I think it makes the advertisement more personal because it reveals an aspect of Tiger’s life that may not have been exposed otherwise, but I can also see why it makes people uneasy. What do you think about this ad’s inclusion of Earl Woods’s voice?
I don’t know much about golf, but I do know a bit about branding – and I see Nike’s ad as both interesting and thought-provoking. Is it the most wonderful branding attempt in the history of advertising? No. Is it going to face unanimous praise by the general public? Probably not. However, it is getting people to talk about Nike (A LOT) and it reinforces Tiger Woods’s association with the brand, which means that it’s effective. There’s no doubt in my mind that people will be talking about this Nike ad for many years to come!
What are your thoughts on Nike’s advertisement? Did your opinion of Tiger Woods sway one way or another after seeing this commercial? Let us know by leaving your comments below. Thanks for reading the Quality Logo Products blog! (Oh, and if you’re interested in the Nike NDX Heat Golf Balls featured in this blog post’s picture, then just click on the link!)
Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.