advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deeds, not words.

It might mean a little more if for once Nike et al. would stop apologizing after the fact for the transgressions of athletes, especially in honest and *revealing* spots like these. Instead, why not show more of this human side beforehand and not build them up to such epic proportions with themes of winning, performance and competition. All that does is set the stage for the inevitable fall. (He also doesn’t have to do this spot now. Focus on the Masters first.) Why should we believe a voiceover that scolds? Won’t it take years of fidelity? A nice family cover shot for Us Weekly? Or is a green jacket all that matters. Thing is, like Kobe, Tiger’s game was never in question. Not that it matters to Nike. Like the house in Vegas, they win either way.

(Update: The original interview where the voice was taken from.)


complete breakfast said...

Because it's a *ghost* scolding?

Ben Kunz said...

I think you, and others, missed it.

This is emotional. It's startling. It's unusual. It satisfies our curiosity. It appeases our anger. It taps our sorry. It makes us feel sorry we have anger. It makes us think. It reminds us of our own transgressions. It tells fathers to think of their bad sons, and sons to think of how they've disappointed their fathers. It makes women feel justified, and men fear potential failure, and golfing pros or ad gurus who know the backstory feel frisson at a ghost talking down to his son. It clears the slate for Nike to reengage.

It resonates. Isn't that the purpose of advertising?

Anonymous said...

Eh, didn't really miss anything. I think you got tricked into being an apologist by proxy due to some really nice camera work. ;-p

The purpose of advertising is to be whatever it is you want or interpret it to be. Why make it an *either* *or* right/wrong proposition?

All the aspects of this ad you mention are nice, but all are undermined by Nike's holier than thou attitude when it comes to their stable of athletes, time and time again.

For Nike to reenage? Dude, why is this about them?

Since you brought it up, from an ad POV, it’s a little creepy using your dad’s words out of their original context. Everyone knows Woods dominates, but he could have at least exhibited a little humility and waited for this ad until after the Masters, not come off like he just downloaded and installed Forgive Me 2.0.

There’s getting out in front of a PR crisis, and then there’s this. Nike always works best when it is honest and genuine—not contrived.

The real problem though?

I may be misreading you, but you make it sound like *we* owe Tiger an apology. I don’t need to contemplate or look inward or rethink how I teach my kids or any of that because I wasn’t the one who had problems figuring out betraying my wife with 15 strippers *might* be a bad idea.

This is yet another athlete put on a pedestal by brands and endorsements, where consumers are asked to entrust a little of their faith in *heroes* who tell their kids to work hard, then betray that trust not through tragedy, but selfish, deliberate behavior.

And more than a few parents of those kids are sick of watching talent self-destruct over the pursuit of self-indulgence, especially when athletes have refined their bodies and disciplined themselves to be in control at all times.

Just do it?

Just not buying it™.

Irene Done said...

Remember the Tiger Father's Day Nike spot that aired just after Earl's death? It really was beautiful and moving -- it completely humanized Tiger, who always seems so aloof -- and no one ever thought it was creepy. No one wondered about Earl's issues. No one even questioned Nike's motives. It worked because it tapped into how we all feel about our dads but also because we were all so totally clueless about Tiger and about his father.

But now we know. So it's weird that Nike went back to the Earl well. It's like they're still selling a father-son story that no one believes in anymore. As a result it comes across as artificial. Surprisingly and depressingly clumsy.

Danny G. said...

Thanks for linking to the original Earl interview, I was wondering where the VO came from. Which makes the spot now seem even more wrongheaded.