I swore I wouldn't blog about the whole Tiger Wood's affair...s, but today's release of the latest Nike ad forces me to renege.
From a strict advertiser/brand POV, the creative is quite brilliant. Although Tiger does look a tad inanimate. The timing, however, coinciding with Tiger's first foray back since the debacle is shamelessly, unabashedly bold - but then so is Nike. It hasn't become the brand it is without a high degree of narcissism.
With his studied and unemotional public apologies -- of sorts -- over the past several weeks, it seemed as if Tiger was going to get by with the quickest of sex rehab stints in recorded history and back to what he does -- perhaps second-best.
But now this Nike ad. Using Earl's words and voice is powerful -- but do we remember that this man whom his son adored was also a philanderer? Did he learn his lesson -- or pass his behavior on to his son?
Too little time has passed and the most recent revelation of bedding his young neighbor -- underscores the premature grab by Nike and Tiger for a 'get out of jail' free pass.
It's an increasingly pertinent question -- this instant and expansive exposure of private behavior in the most public of forums. And the aggressive behavior of advertisers in the swirling tsunami of social media keeps lowering the ethical bottom -- while upping the -- creative ante.
What missed the most with the Nike ad was an opportunity to combine bold creative with substantial content. Regarding celebrity behavior, the sophistication of the average consumer today, largely due to social media, broadens the platform for public compassion and forgiveness.
Billy Payne, Augusta National Chairman said "Certainly his future/will never again be measured only by his performance against par but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change."
A mute Tiger, in this transparent and untimely Nike ad, leaves one wondering; has Tiger actually learned anything; will he repeat offend; did Earl regret his philandering; and how persuasive will Nike's gamble prove in making a revenue land-grab for the Master's.