By Rick F.
The first questions that come to mind: Is this an ad for Nike, or an ad for Tiger Woods? And is there a difference? Can the two companies succeed without each other? And what is success anyway?
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Though Tiger has introduced an entirely new generation of golfers to the game, there has been no recreational growth in a decade (More Americans Are Giving Up Golf, New York Times, Published: February 21, 2008). However, from the standpoint of profit and ratings, the sponsors grew, the TV audience grew, and the purses grew…a lot. Ian Poulter has more pink pants because of Tiger.
An advertisement’s success, however, can be measured by many different criteria, most notably today seems to be “is this ad memorable?” The rationale is, if it ain’t memorable, then you have no chance, no matter how compelling your message. With companies like Geico, built on the once frowned upon concept of borrowed interest, it is no wonder why ads today often have little to do with a brand’s product or service.
The Tiger supporters will tell you, “Here is a guy who is sincere in his admission of guilt, and is humbly showing you in a touching, 30-second black & white.” On the other hand, the critics, who are always more vocal, will say, “this is a classic exercise in exploitation for capital gain.”
Borrowed interest or not, I have not forgotten that Tiger Woods is sponsored by Nike, nor have I forgotten what a tremendous athlete he is. (After all he came in 4th at Augusta, and was consistently in contention).
So back to this Nike spot. It’s as simple as, “hey, we’re talking about it, right?” I think Marge Schott would agree.