In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Nike Industrial Shoe Works Corp., who made advertising history last night by somehow turning pathetic, unprincipled skirt-chasing into a compelling pitch for golf clubs.
Seriously, what the hell is this? Even if you think it makes strategic business sense to publicly acknowledge that your biggest spokesperson is a total poonhound, is this really the best way to do it? It's hard to imagine another setup that so perfectly strikes all the wrong notes.
"What if he just made the creepiest hangdog face imaginable and we hold on that for 30 seconds?
"Not unsettling enough. Can we throw in a disjointed, computerized voiceover by his dead dad?"
Ok, so we're all up to speed that Tiger did a bad thing. But what are we, the viewers, supposed to take away from this particular message? That Tiger's dad would probably be cool with his son's philandering if only he learned a valuable lesson from it? (How many people think Tiger learned anything beyond, "Spring for the extra Blackberry"?) That he knows he's a bad little boy? Are we supposed to think Tiger Woods is the tragic hero now? That eerie expression just makes him look like a guy who shouldn't be trusted.
What purpose does this ad serve, beyond making everyone really uncomfortable and giving YouTube parody editors some raw material? (I eagerly await the one with the voiceover of Ray Coudriet asking Tiger not to bang his daughter.) If this is his and Nike's way of saying sorry, they can stuff it in a sack.
Oh, wait ... Now I get it. Every media outlet on the planet (including this one) is advertising the Nike logo this morning. For free. Hey, people still need shoes, right?