Nike Ad Featuring Tiger Woods’s Dead, Disappointed Father Makes More Sense Than You’d Think

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04/08/2010 12:01 PM |

So today, as world-famed text-messaging hump machine Tiger Woods returns to golf with his opening round at the Masters, the internets are all aflutter with WTF-type posts in response to this new Nike ad, featuring Sad Tiger listening to the disappointed voice of his late, beloved father and mentor Earl, while sporting Nike gear:


It is squicky, of course, to have one’s therapy in public, let alone an ad; it is incredibly squicky, of course, to resurrect a dead person for the length of a Nike spot. But I can see the logic here…

More than one commenter has expressed incredulity: “Is this supposed to make me buy Nikes?”

The answer is: no, actually, not really. This is supposed to make you feel sorry for the publicly shamed Tiger Woods, by bringing up all sorts of painful Freudian conflicts (as apparitions of one’s dead father so often do). Pity leads, theoretically, to forgiveness and understanding (I’m pretty sure this is how it always works?), which leads to redemption. Which is important, especially if you’re Nike, and have a lot invested in (and I’m so sorry for what I’m about to say the Tiger Woods “brand”, and its once and future ability to make the Nike brand seem elite and desirable by their alignment. This is really just marketing 101 here. (Give or take dead daddy’s disembodied disapproval.)

Still incredibly squicky! Please resume heaping well-deserved scorn upon the ad.