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Question of the day: What do you think of Tiger Woods' new Nike commercial featuring the voice of his dead father? [Updated]

April 8, 2010 |  9:32 am

Woods_240 Four reporters from the Tribune Co. weigh in with their opinion. Check back throughout the day for more responses. And please feel free to tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

AUGUSTA, Ga. – We should have seen this coming after what Tiger Woods said Monday: “My dad, it’s amazing how he says things that come back.”

Yeah, literally. For the world to hear. In the ad, Earl Woods asks Tiger, “Did you learn anything?”

The harsh truth is that what Tiger learned from Earl wasn’t all good. The man, by all accounts, was a serial philanderer.

Now as for the ad, yes, it’s creepy. And Woods won’t win an Emmy unless there’s an award for “best blinking.”

But Nike seems to have a simple goal with ads like this – to be provocative. And on that level, how can anyone claim that the ad isn’t a winner? Everyone’s talking about it. I watched it three times, and not just because I had to write this piece.

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

[Updated at 10:15 a.m.: Let's choose the right word to describe Nike's new Tiger Woods commercials. The candidates: awkward, creepy, inappropriate, callous, shameless, cynical and wrong. We'll choose all of the above.

So there's Tiger, looking all somber and remorseful. There's the voice of his dead father, asking if his son learned anything. And of course, there's the swoosh.

So not only is Nike using Tiger's sex scandal for profit, but Nike is cashing on the voice his dead Dad. Hey, nothing is off limits when there's apparel to sell.

Did Woods think this was a good idea? This is a guy who revered his father above everyone, yet he's willing to exploit Dad's memory. Apparently, he'll do anything to reward the sponsor that stuck with him.]

Diane Pucin, Los Angeles Times

[Updated at 12:28 p.m.: If Tiger Woods has a soul it is not in evidence in the Nike ad, the 34 seconds of grim Tiger listening to the voice of his dead father, Earl.

We are, apparently, supposed to buy “Swoosh” products because a dead man spoke words about questioning yourself.  

Tiger, apparently, wants us to still believe he is a family man even as his wife, Elin, is not in evidence at Tiger’s first tournament in five months.

What was in evidence in that commercial, shot in black and white, is that Tiger still can’t say no.

Because when whatever agent or creative director or even Nike founder Phil Knight himself suggested that Tiger help dig up words of his father and repurpose them into a manipulative ad, Tiger should have straightened his shoulders, put some fire in his eyes, maybe even pumped his fist and said “No.”  It is a word Tiger needs to practice using more often.

Jeff Shain, Orlando Sentinel

So exactly what is the purpose of this spot? It couldn’t have been to pitch shoes or golf clubs – that would be too crass even in today’s marketing-driven age. It seems all that wound up being accomplished was to place a swoosh on regret.

I can’t help but wonder, too, what the late Earl Woods would have thought about the use of his words for such a commercial. Perhaps no one would know that better than his pride-and-joy son, but this feels rather icky.

Do golf fans really need to eavesdrop on this pseudo-fatherly lecture? Does Nike really feel like it needed to weigh in with something? Perhaps there are contractual obligations involved, but leaving an uneasy situation well enough alone would have been the more prudent action.]

Photo: Tiger Woods. Credit: Associated Press.

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