If you live on the moon, you might not have seen or heard about the creepy new Nike ad with Tiger Woods’ dead father talking to him. That’s all it is — just a black and white shot of a solemn Tiger Woods listening to his father’s voice.
Alas, Nike, has succumbed to the widespread unseemly, drooling desire to profit from Tiger’s adverse publicity. This ad does nothing to promote the company’s many fine products; it does nothing to erase or move beyond the mess Tiger created. It is creepy and ghoulish to exploit the senior Woods’s voice in this way. And certainly if the man were still alive, he would not be having such a talk with his son in front of the whole world.
Nike used to promote the glory of sport, the thrill of competition, challenge, and victory. Its ads were clean, inspiring, sparkling, creative. Even memorable. I still have a Nike poster from the ’70s, when the jogging/running craze first swept the country. It’s a simple, horizontal, almost monochromatic picture of a row of trees along a lakeshore. Silhouetted in the middle is a small, lone runner. At the bottom are the words “There is no finish line.”
Yes, the Woods ad is simple. But it is also weird and extraordinarily irrelevant for a sporting goods manufacturer. If Woods wants to continue his public groveling and unconvincing contrition, that’s his problem. Nike should have stayed out of the gutter.