Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tiger Woods - He's Back!



Tiger Woods returned to the world of golf this week, and he returned to the world of advertising with this commercial for Nike. The commercial is a strange one as it has nothing to do with the brand, at least there's nothing "brand worthy" that I can discern. It seems to me like a favor one does for a friend who has fallen and needs help getting up. I've utilized the religious metaphor for resurrection for the ways in which we treat some fallen media figures whose stature we want to see restored. Tiger Woods certainly is not the first media figure to have fallen off the proverbial bar stool, only to later see his media persona restored. Well, we'll have to see what happens with TW. The gossip mill still seems to be churning this story, and of course, we'll have to see how well he does in his return to golf. One of these will likely affect the other. By that I mean, if he does well in the Masters, many people will lose their interest in the gossip. Done Deal. If he fails to make the cut, however, there will be a lot of finger wagging. Will other brands join Nike? We'll have to wait and see. Nike is taking a bit of a risk. The last thing they'd want to do is harm the brand. But sticking by a friend is a noble gesture, and the company may score some points for that. Let's hope Tiger does the same.

20 comments:

Kristina K said...

After seeing this commercial I was a little creeped out and surprised to see the Nike logo. The commercial had nothing to do with sports or the Nike brand. The words that his father speaks are also confusing because he is asking Tiger what he is thinking; yet Tiger just stands there with a blank stare. Strategically I think it was a bad move for Nike to air this commercial even if it was more as a favor for Woods. This commercial does not create positive feelings toward the brand; in fact it may turn people off. I also think like all gossip if you give it time eventually people will forget. For Tiger and the upcoming Masters Tournament this commercial only puts more spotlight upon him. The commercial reminds people who don’t necessarily follow golf of the scandal. This commercial may create vital advertising, but I do not think it will give Nike positive brand recognition.

mchenkels said...

I was very surprised to see that Nike stayed with Tiger Woods as a spokesperson for their company. Not only that but coming out with a commercial when the “gossip” from the scandal was still going around. I agree that this was a huge risk for Nike to do. I felt like Nike has a lot of good commercials out right now that portrayed strength and endurance, which the company wants to show them as. So I found it odd that they show a commercial of Tiger Woods who portrayed weak an almost awkward.
I also agree that it depends on how well he does in the Masters. If he does well I think it will overshadow everything that has happened. If he doesn’t do well I think that his contract with Nike will also suffer. Everything is riding on the Masters so we’ll just have to wait to see but either way it will be a huge change in Tiger’s life.

Becky Quinn said...

I have some mixed feelings about this commercial. I do think it was noble of Nike to keep Tiger as a sponsor and try to help him improve his media image. A lot of people will see this as a gesture of loyalty and perhaps see the Nike brand in a positive light. However, on the flip side, by continuing to support Tiger it may appear that Nike is supporting the infidelity that he was involved in. Also, although Tiger has held press conferences and issued several public apologies, I feel like this commercial is trying to market a horrible situation. Should Nike and Tiger be using a scandal for profit? Is it ethical for them to spin the situation in order to market a product? On Saturday Night Live this past week, Tina Fey, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Kenan Thompson did a spoof on Tiger's return to the Masters. In this spoof, they included their own version of the commercial in which Earl Woods' voice was advising Tiger not to use his voice to try and sell sneakers after a sex scandal. This further emphasizes the questionable nature of this commercial. Not only is Nike trying to market an unsavory affair, but they are using the voice of Tiger's deceased father to do so. The more I am thinking about this situation, the less effective this commercial seems.

Meg OKeefe said...

After first viewing Dr. Alperstein's blog post just minutes before Thursday's class, I was uninterested and thought the commercial to be rather boring. At first glance, it did not portray any meaning behind the brand of Nike and I did not understand what the company's thinking was. However, after a day or two went by, I found myself still contemplating the 30 second commercial and even sending the link to the video to numerous friends and family members. I realized that like Dr. Alperstein had mentioned, Nike was acting as the good friend lending a helping hand. Nike is saying that yes, Tiger made a mistake, but we are sticking by him through the thick and thin. They are telling us to do the same. In this way, Nike is portraying itself in a good light and warranting good karma for their actions. Though the commercial lacked intrigue, the fact that I was still thinking about it days later is reason enough to believe it was essentially effective.

Kara said...

I do am joining the millions of people who are currently wondering what Nike was thinking after releasing this ad. There was an article about it in Advertising Age that stated "in less than 48 hours, it was viewed online more than 2.2 million times, drew 6,700 comments and generated more than 40 parodies that themselves drew more than 200,000 views." The ad also ran on ESPN and CBS (not to mention all of the free media impressions it generated by making news internationally). From these statistics alone, I think the commercial has already done its job: created enough buzz for Nike to be discussed worldwide. Since the best ads we have been discussing in class are the most unusual and non-conformist, I don't think this Nike ad falls far from the Dominoes pizza ad we also viewed bashing their own company. In both cases, Nike and Dominoes have made controversial approaches to their ads and have created something so unique that so much attention has been drawn to these brands. They took a risk- and I think they were pretty successful- look how many people are talking about Nike right now. It is debatable whether this will positively or negatively affect sales, but regardless it will definitely keep people engaged talking about it.

natalie said...

Surprisingly after watching this commercial I realized that I actually liked it! At first I was a little hesitant about the entire idea, but in the end I think it benefits both Tiger Woods as well as Nike. The commercial itself is not at all an add for Nike products, and doesn't seem to be selling anything. It's simply a commercial to boost the entire Tiger Woods issue. I think that Nike took a positive step in supporting its client. Using Tiger Woods's dad I thought was really interesting. His dad has had issues with cheating so I feel like it might lead to controversy, however, having a father figure as the voice shows discipline and change in Tiger's actions; this is especially evident when the voice asks, "did you learn anything?" Like the others have touched upon, depending on how well Tiger does in the Masters, we will see how effective this is in relations to the Nike brand.

Dana Verona said...

After all the media attention Tiger Woods has got over these passed months, I think people are just sick of hearing about him. I am surprised Nike went through with this commercial. There are better things going on in the world then the private life of Tiger Woods. He already publicly apologized and I do not see the need for another apology through Nike. The more it comes up in the media, I think people are just going to get sick of it and not want to forgive him. However, Tiger is one of Nike's biggest clients and probably feel they have been highly effected in this situation. They owe their customers feedback on this matter since they do make a lot of money off him. Nike did do an excellent job in going about making this commercial. They could have made Tiger looked like a good guy, but it was a very out of the ordinary commercial for them. I have never seen Nike do something like this. Tiger must have had to surrender on this one.

jamurray1 said...

Sometimes to a fault, I let me emotions over take my rationality and this is one of those times. Despite Tiger's sub-par decision making , I really am rooting for him to come out on top. I applaud Nike for taking the risk to make and run this commercial. It shows their loyalty to their client and their support of what he doing NOW. I think that if anything, that emotion loyalty aspect will be what draws consumers to Nike. the fact that the company cares so much about a person's liveliness in genereal, will make consumers proud to be a part of something involved with such activities. They will WANT to buy Nike and convince other consumers to do the same, all because if they were in Tiger's position they would want the same support. Who wouldnt?

Alexander said...

I was not at all surprised to see Nike's new commercial, which aired before the Masters last week. I had anticipated him making several marketing appearances, especially after his public practice rounds and Masters press conference. Throughout all of his media attention he has maintained the same image that is present in this ad. He is both solemn, remorseful, and focused. Known for his infidelity as well, his father Earl Woods' voice in the background is meant to evoke feelings of regret from Tiger and understanding from the public.

What I find most interesting, however, is how this ad and his performance in the Masters will affect his future marketing opportunities. It's true that sponsors like Gatorade has dropped Tiger as a representative for the brand, as well as his line of Gatorade Tiger Drinks. The termination of the drink, however, was not related to the incident. But after the tournament its is clear that Tiger is still the best golfer in the world, making multiple mistakes that only reflect that he has not competed in months. I am positive that Tiger will reclaim his place at the top, and when this time comes his advertising sponsors that made him the first individual billionaire athlete will all come rushing back. This success in the media, and in golf can also lead to his forgiveness in the eyes of the public.

Nicole Santagata said...

After seeing this commercial, I also was slightly confused at the point Nike was trying to make. I also agree with Dr. Alperstein when he claims that it seems like Nike is just helping out a friend. To me, this commercial shows an attempt by Nike to try and save Tiger’s image, as if they are giving him a shot to show that he is sorry for his actions. It appears that Nike is trying to get viewers to sympathize with Tiger Woods. After everything that has come out in the media about this man, I do not think this is a wise choice. I no longer have positive views of Tiger Woods, however the story about his marriage is starting to blow over. Sandra Bullock’s marriage has become a topic of media attention in recent news and has started to overshadow the Tiger Woods indiscretions. This commercial, however, just made me remember his past actions, and reminded me that I still am not a fan. I do not think Nike should have kept Tiger as a spokesperson in the first place, and I do not think are they are capable of revamping his image.

Gruber said...

When I first saw this commerical in class I was a little confused and had mixed emotions. I was not aware at first that the voice was the voice of Tiger Woods father and thought it was a counselor to some sort.Now knowing that it was his father I can't help but laugh at the irony. I recently watched a documentary on Tiger Woods'life growing up where I learned that his father use to cheat on his wife. I am unaware if Nike knowns of this and don't like that they have taken the role of the father. I understand that they are showing their loyalty to their spokesperson but I still have mixed emotions. I think it can have both positive and negative results. Nike, which is soley connected to Tiger Woods from his golfing career, has now involved his personal life. People who thought of him as a golfer may get annoyed that this issue has invaded the world of golf. On the other hand, people might see how loyal of a brand Nike is and that it shows they are forgiving. Nike, I believe is trying to show how good of a friend they are such as Mr. Alperstein has stated. If he doesn't win the Masters I don't think it will shine a bad light on Nike, because once again, they will be there to pick him up when he falls. As for other companies that have dropped him, such as gatorade, I am unsure if they will try to pick him back up, because that will make their company look like they did something wrong and weren't there when he needed them most.

Charlie Fagan said...

The way the world works now a days, especially the world of sports, I feel this was a necessary move that Nike had to make. As confusing, and honestly weird as this commercial is, in the long run it will pay off. It is well-known that many companies dropped Tiger Woods as their spokesperson amidst all of the scandal that was uncovered. Nike controversely decided to stay with Tiger. The way they welcomed Tiger back into the public eye was a bit off, but there was no other option. They must ease their fans back into the thought of Tiger representing their company. Many role models in sports have screwed up in the past, but the second they do something to redeem themselves in their respective sport, all is forgotten and forgived. Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, and after he changed his number and won a NBA title, his jersey was again one of the top sellers. Santanio Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers was caught with weed in his car and in his system, but that same season concluded with him winning the Super Bowl MVP, and doing a Disney commercial aimed at kids. The second Tiger starts winning major tournaments again, people will slowly forget what happened between him and his alleged affairs, and Nike will be rewarded in dollars for sticking by Tiger's side.

Amy Scioscia said...

I first saw the new Nike commercial with Tiger Woods on PerezHilton. I was extremely confused and also surprised that Nike would choose this as Tiger's first commercial after such a scandal. I am not too sure what Nike's point was. What do they hope viewers get out of this commercial? That they stand by Tiger as he is owning up to his actions? That is fine, but how is it going to help their sales? The commercial has absolutely nothing to do with their products.
This was before I made the connection that the voice over was Tiger's late father, Earl Woods. I do not know how I feel about this. When you listen to the words that he said to his son and how they directly connect to what he is going through right now, it's surprising. It sounds as though the commercial is ripping Tiger down and saying, "What were you thinking??" I was shocked to see that Tiger was willing to do this commercial. PerezHilton posted quotes by Tiger in response to the recent commercial. He said, ""It's amazing how my dad can speak to me in different ways even when he's long gone. Any son who lost a father who meant so much in their life, I think, would understand the spot." Tiger also claims that this "is what his dad would say" in regards to his recent scandal. Okay, but this is a NIKE commercial. What does any of this have to do with Nike?? I would love to know what Nike was thinking when they composed this advertisement. There have been many parodies of the commercial. Here are some from SNL and others:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ_0qhzr9B8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_3Oc6hWSes

kmhorvath said...

I thought that the discussion we had in class about this advertisement was pretty thought provoking. I had not seen the ad before it was shown in class and after our discussion I googled it to watch it again. It was interesting to see Nike take such a fatherly role towards Tiger in this advertisement. It was so different than so many of the other commercials on tv which tend to feature songs and bright colors. The black and white view of Tiger looking sullen and Earl Woods' voice in the background was chilling. I think that this ad did a good job in showing Nike as a company with values- one that stands by it's people.

Katherine Kalec said...

Agreeing with Kristina, I don't believe this advertisement gives a positive impression on the viewer. From a personal stand point I do not support Tiger Woods after finding out about his immoral decisions. Opposite of my views, my brother admires the game of golf and has looked past his poor choices and could really care less.

I am indifferent about the effect this ad can have. It can work in their favor or easily work against them. But also, I believe that is true for most advertisements that use media figures. People have personal choices and sometimes advertisements cannot change their minds.

Victoria Anne said...

After we watched this commercial in class, I was browsing YouTube and it came up again on the side of the screen. For some reason, I couldn't help but watch it again. I was interested to listen to what the narrator was saying because I didn't hear it word for word the first time. I continued to watch it for a third time because I thought this advertisement was a very interesting technique. Will it work? Maybe. Is it risky? Yes. But today, advertisers need to take risks to make their products known to their audience. If they sit back and just hope for improvements in their company, it's never going to happen. At first I was surprised that Tiger agreed to do an advertisement like this, but then when I thought about it I realized that there can really be no harm to him. He has already done the bad so this publicity can only help him in the long run.
Nike is also a huge company so if the public eye takes this advertisement the wrong way, it could also hurt them. By taking this risk, they are also putting their company and reputation on the line.

Dannell Anthony said...

What first seems like a noble gesture for Tiger Woods to appear sorry and sincere for having a humiliating amount of mistresses in a recent Nike commercial, quickly becomes a creepy, comedic, and pathetic commercial. This commercial offers more than what meets the eye. Initially, the commercial appears as a mere apology; an apology by Woods to his fans, Nike, and the game of golf. The most disturbing part of the advertisement is the strange voice over of Wood’s late father. Though the commercial features a still frame of Woods looking solemnly into the camera for the entire 30-seconds, it is more so about Nike as a company than Woods as a person at all. By creating this commercial, Nike is ambiguously letting consumers know that they are a loyal company; a company that stands by the athletes in which they endorse, no matter what the athletes do wrong. At the end of the day, Nike is still the same company, and Tiger Woods will continue to dominate the green. Commercial or no commercial, I have no remorse for Tiger Woods.

Jojoseph said...

I think Nike is trying to show people and probably other potential spokespersons that they are loyol people. I think they want people to klnow that they will stand by thier spokespersons through rough times. Although I was very suprosed to see that Nike stayed with Tiger Woods seeing that almost every other company left him, but it was very ambitous and risky of them to stick with him.
I think it will come down to how he performs from here on out, as soon as he starts winning again his fans wills tart to come back to him and Nike will be the one group that is there to celebrate with him.

Judith Lite said...

I actually reported on this commercial for my public relations class as well. While I agree that this commercial definitely was a little scary, strategy wise, it is ads like this one that Tiger is going to rely upon to get him back into the good graces of the people. If we were to see him in a Nike commercial simply acting normal swinging a golf club, I think most of us would feel that maybe a little too much has been forgotten too fast. For Tiger, this commercial can only help him in showing his fans and fellow players that he has recognized his problem. Although this has the possibility of negatively affecting Nike as a brand, I think its just going to grab more attention. I saw the commercial and immediately looked it up online.

Samantha Pessognelli said...

I think that this is a creepy video because they use the voice of Tiger's dead father giving him a chance. It's like the company has a relationship with him too and are trying to help him. This makes him look powerful and like Dr. Alperstein said if he does good he will bounce back & make Nike look good... but only the future tells. This is the first time I've seen a video like this and I feel this will create a buzz. The fact that he didn't answer any of the questions his father asked and just stared did not prove anything ... I just think it could have had some sort of information to prove a point. & the whole things could have bee done better.