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Apr. 8 2010 - 12:54 am | 1,360 views | 2 recommendations | 11 comments

Nike uses voice of Tiger Woods’ dead dad for creepy new ad

Have you seen the new Nike ad yet?

Seriously, WTF? Earl Woods died in 2006, and probably had no idea that his son would go on to be the world’s greatest philanderer. So this whole voice from beyond the grave treatment is just a bit too much to take. “I want to find out what your thinking was,” Earl says, as if eluding to the dozens of women Woods shagged behind his wife’s back. Let me tell you Earl, if you can hear me: Your son wanted to screw a stadium full of porn stars. That was his thinking. “And did you learn anything,” what about that, Tiger? Given your extensive research on how to be a complete and utter asshole to your wife and kids, what insight have you gained?

To be clear, I’ve long ago tired of the Woods saga, and feel a bit of relief that the guy will just get back on the golf course this week at The Masters. But for Nike to put forth this ad at this moment in the history of Tiger Woods’ life, that Woods agreed to let this abomination be made, well, it’s staggering. Are we, the audience supposed to go rush out and buy Nike product after watching this? Are we supposed to identify with the self-described inquisitive Earl Woods, whose ghostly figure now gazes at his only child and wonders, “Hey, son, what’s new in your world?”

Yes, hand it to Nike, they and their star certainly are promoting discussion. Maybe that was the plan all along. A boardroom marketing strategy dreamed up to educate America on the wrongs of marital infidelity, of which Woods Sr. was also said to have practiced while on this mortal coil. So, yes, let’s talk about it. What better way to start than by using a dead guy to do all the talking while the guy whose actions brought us to this point keeps his lips shut tight as he basks in the redemptive spirit of his late father.

See, Nike, with an assist from Earl, have absolved Tiger Woods. So let’s all get back to making gobs of money. Swoooooosh!


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  1. collapse expand

    I recognize the exploitation factor here. I have to admit, though, that I find it way more compelling than creepy. The line here is completely blurred — Tiger’s professional brand vs his personal brand vs his personal life, Nike’s brand alone, Nike’s brand in association with Tiger, the list goes on. There are layers upon layers. For me, the ad simplifies it all. As I said, I know inherently it is exploitative. But I also feel it’s authentic, almost as if we’re eavesdropping on Tiger in a moment of private contemplation. That’s a tribute to Nike’s creative team and to Tiger for exposing himself in this way. I think it’s a bold move and a positive step as Tiger tries to rehabilitate his brand.

  2. collapse expand

    As someone who worked in the ad biz for over 20 years, I am really disturbed by this spot. For one thing, how could Tiger’s association with Nike now be perceived as anything but negative? Does Nike want to be the brand of athletes who screw around? Or the brand of apologies? For another, the very idea that Tiger would allow himself to be laid bare like this for commercial purposes is just plain disgusting. Have a little dignity and stop using your despicable behavior for personal gain. Good God, Elin, you need to ditch this guy, and fast.

  3. collapse expand

    Personally speaking, I’d have no problem if Nike came out with an ad whose concept was “Let’s get back to kicking everybody’s ass at golf.” What bothers me about this spot is the focus on character and the affairs, etc. Enough already.

  4. collapse expand

    Does America know tacky anymore? Or has Jerry Springer and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” dumbed us down like cross-eyed cousins? Anyone who thinks that Golf has any connection remaining with its gentrified roots should get a clue.

  5. collapse expand

    Yuck. The ultimate commercial exploitation to me. Really disgusting.

  6. collapse expand

    This is not even about the offensiveness, it is also about hypocrisy. How come his accident which happended on public property so “personal” but using your dead father’s voice which was edited together in order to promote a product/make money by gaining sympathy? BIG FAIL!
    It makes me crazy that he calls for privacy when he keeps putting these details and images of him as a family man out there. Disgusted person here!

  7. collapse expand

    Tiger’s affair [with Nike] has blossomed better than anyone at Nike Corp could have dreamed. To portray the game of golf and the game of life with a mental or emotional intensity so to compel us to buy- or buy into- is hilarious. I love it! Tiger is a golfing machine and a rake, and Nike, the PGA, People Mag, and the nescient masses couldn’t be happier! He’s bigger than ever…schwiiiinnnng!

  8. collapse expand

    “Earl Woods, whose ghostly figure now gazes at his only child”

    David, before Earl Woods married Kultida, Tiger’s mother, he was married to Barbara Gary. They had three children: Earl Dennison Jr. (1955), Kevin Dale (1957), and Royce Renee (1961).

    Tiger is not Earl Woods’ only child.

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