Situational Intelligence, Tiger Woods, Marketing and Public Relations

I’ve moved, please join the conversation at:

During lunch I turned on the Golf Channel to see a little bit of Masters coverage and saw the new Tiger Woods/Nike ad. .

As a marketer and a fan of golf, I think he was given very bad advice on this one.

With television advertising (as with all advertising, but particularly with TV) we, as viewers, accept that the goal of the production is to persuade us into a favorable disposition toward the brand.

If the intent is to demonstrate:  lessons learned, contrition, rising up after personal failure, turning over a new leaf – the vehicle (TV ad) is inappropriate and situationally awkward.

If the intent is to begin salvaging the brand, the vehicle inspires the worst kind of cynicism.

And the timing is not good.  It feels dangerously premature.

The Nike ad is not a PSA (public service announcement).  Were Tiger to appear in a PSA (“my message is to raise awareness on sex addiction” or whatever) it would be a little different, but the timing would still smack of manipulation.

Were I advising Tiger, I would tell him that if he is desirous of spreading a message of lessons learned, contrition and turning over a new leaf, more appropriate venues would be interviews and his web site.  Those messages are not appropriate for a Nike ad.

Without getting into a discussion about what Tiger did (it’s none of my business and I’m not interested in the prurient aspects or the deceit), I’d like to get a discussion going regarding your reaction to this communication strategy.