Nike's new Tiger spot is drawing some praise, and much criticism, for its resurrection (and arguably, exploitation) of the late Earl Woods. A black and white Tiger, humbled but head-up, stares into the camera while the voice of his father asks "Did you learn anything?" No question it's a risk, but the ad works because it neither ignores the golfer's many indiscretions, nor does it imply that the Woods on the course is somehow separate from the Woods in the bedroom (or backseat...or backyard...). And it suggests mistakes on and off the course can lead to growth on and off the course.
Tag: Tiger Woods
I was stopped in my tracks this morning when I read the paper and saw this truly awful ad from Accenture. Dear oh dear. Not that "elephants can dance too" metaphor, or surf as it is in this case. So deja vu. So crap. Really. It made me think what a mess Accenture's communication is in since it knee-jerked into firing Tiger Woods, who it has used since 2003.
The older I get, the more I become convinced that the average person in our "sound byte society" has the attention span of a gnat. Worse, I fear that in making this assertion, I may be describing myself. I've traditionally been a bit of a cynic for the latest fads. My elders drilled it into me that you "stick with something that works." Yet despite being the immediate past president of the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and a staunch advocate of classical marketing research methodologies, I'm actually starting to buy into some of the "buzz du jour" about social media as a viable tool for measuring fan sentiment.
"You can't beat somebody with a nobody" is the old political axiom, and it applies to marketing, too. Lately, a number of marketing somebodies have gotten into serious trouble. Typical reaction in the media: "Whoops! There goes the brand." Not so fast. Once a brand has a strong position in consumers' minds, it is almost impervious to flak.
Is there anything creepier than a big, beer-breathed celebrity athlete exposing himself in a night club and hitting on underage girls, all the while protected by an entourage of off-duty cops? Well, yes. It’s the big, corporate sponsor — Nike, in this case — that continues trying to sell product with the creep as their role model.
A belated blog on Hits and Misses for 2010. Please vote by clicking here. Then we meet back in a year and see how we did.
If the aim of Nike's new ad featuring Tiger Woods was to cause confusion and skepticism, it's a hole in one. Perhaps more importantly, a survey of 600 U.S. viewers by Flemington, N.J.-based HCD Research also noted the controversial commercial's "favorability" for the Nike brand has dropped off, falling from 92% to 79%.
It certainly was a diverse week in the social media sphere, with the the iPhone OS 4.0 reveal, Digg’s CEO shakeup, Tiger Woods’s new commercial and the Baja California, earthquake’s coverage on Twitter and YouTube. And, as if the aftershocks from the natural disaster wasn’t enough, we’ve been practically flooded with iPad news since its launch this past Saturday.
Now imagine what you're thinking if you work at EA Sports. Do you look at this Nike ad and feel gratitude that another brand is attempting to confront the bad stuff so that it (and you) can sell some new stuff? You've already declared that you'll be supporting the wayward (off the tee) golfer. You've already launched PGA Golf Tour 11. And you've made a lot of money out of your association with him over the years.
Today is Tiger Woods’ big day. At 1:42 p.m., he is scheduled to tee off at The Master’s in Augusta, Ga., marking his first foray into competitive golf after his disastrous personal slide of the last few months. And it may be just in the nick of time that Woods is returning to what he really does best, because his attempts at restoring his tarnished personal brand are going south in a hurry. Woods had seemed to be following to some positive effect the script laid out by his handlers for his personal-rehabilitation campaign leading up to this week’s Masters. With sober interviews and engaged answers to dozens of personal questions at a press conference on Monday, Tiger seemed poised for a well-orchestrated and deliberate comeback.
As Tiger Woods prepares to tee off at The Masters on Thursday, the humbled athlete is not the only one counting the cost of his fall from grace. The 34-year-old golfer’s reputation as a clean-living and dedicated sportsman and husband was undone when his infidelities were spilled across television, newspapers and internet sites in the wake of a mysterious car accident at his home in late November. Mr Woods’ success on the course had enabled him to line up lucrative sponsorship deals off of it, with brands including Accenture, Nike, Gillette, Electronic Arts and Gatorade signing him up to lucrative sponsorship deals. Some estimates suggest that the arrangements made him the world’s first sports star to make $1bn in career earnings.
Tiger Woods and the voice of his late father star in a new commercial from Nike Inc., one of several new advertising pushes that suggest the golfer may be on his way to repairing his shattered image with corporate America. Nike aired Wednesday a black-and-white TV spot with Mr. Woods looking into the camera. In the background, the voice of his father, Earl Woods, seems to be talking to his son about the importance of taking responsibility for his actions.
This week we all will be thinking about Tiger Woods to see if he can return to form at the Masters in Augusta, and tries to set aside the massive damage that has occurred to his brand name. But who are we kidding. Has anything really happened to the man's valuable brand equity? Reports are out now that golf gear with Tiger's name on it is selling better than before the scandals hit, a lot better in fact. Unconfirmed reports say that Nike is planning on airing an advertisement featuring Tiger.
Exactly what kind of public and private behavior does it take for a brand to forsake a celebrity spokesperson? Apparently a lot more than what Tiger Woods has confessed to. There are reports today that Nike and Tiger already are back together filming TV commercials again.
Tiger Woods is returning to golf, and many of his biggest backers are coming with him. Nike, Gillette and EA Sports all expressed support for Mr. Woods' now public plan to play in April's Masters, although none except EA Sports -- which has already gone ahead and launched a Woods-themed video game for the coming year -- has not indicated if or when Mr. Woods will return to a front-and-center role in their marketing messages.
Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday offering something he hopes will start to repair the company's image among consumers: an apology.
Well, both Tiger Woods and Akio Toyoda have apologized for their transgressions, thereby following -- however belatedly and incompletely -- the scripted advice from communications experts: Woods looked into the camera and admitted his sins, while Toyoda did the Japanese understatement thing and then had his staff take out full-page "open letters" to customers.
Now that Tiger Woods' nationally televised mea culpa is over, the question for the sports world's greatest endorser is this: Are his sponsors willing to, pardon the pun, get back in bed with him? Mr. Woods on Friday made his first public appearance in almost three months, since the details of his numerous marital infidelities surfaced following a one-car accident he was involved in on Thanksgiving night. In a carefully scripted and controlled setting, Mr. Woods -- looking ashen, with his eyes welling at one point -- spoke for almost 14 minutes, publicly admitting "I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable and I am the only person to blame. ... I thought I could get away with anything I wanted to."
It's been announced that Tiger Woods will be sitting down in Florida tomorrow with "friends, colleagues and close associates," not, as some might think to make additional apologies for his off-the-course activities, but to launch a new, 2010 version of Tiger Woods. Think of it as this year's Human Brand re-launch, a re-introduction into the marketplace of an actual human being who represents 100% of the values, imbued meaning, and differentiation in the category in which they compete. The operative phrase being in the category in which they compete. And make no mistake about it, no matter what you've read or heard about hotel bedrooms, the category in which Tiger's human brandness resounds is still golf.
Exactly nine days ago, millions of viewers were treated to a world first. I'm not talking about the Saints winning their first-ever NFL championship; I'm talking about Google running a commercial. No doubt you'll have seen it already: the young man who spends a semester in Paris, forever changing his life. No doubt you've also seen the Tiger Woods and Sarah Palin parodies. Genuine or spoof, the commercials hone in on one of the fundamental characteristics of search: that search is a tool for us to hone in on the core of what is bothering, amusing, or intriguing us at any given moment.
It may be that Tiger Woods's name has not suffered as much as we might have thought it would only a month or so ago. This week Forbes reports that his name still holds the top spot among athletes with a value of $82 million. This is still more than the following huge sports names make combined, reports The Street, "David Beckham ($20 million), tennis player Roger Federer ($16 million), NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($14 million) and NBA stars LeBron James ($13 million) and Kobe Bryant ($12 million)."
The multiyear partnership deal McDonald's signed last week with basketball star LeBron James is an early sign that the Tiger Woods debacle hasn't put marketers off celebrity endorsements altogether. But it does indicate that the landscape is subtly changing. McDonald's said Thursday that its new relationship with Mr. James will kick off with his appearance in a Super Bowl XLIV pregame commercial. The ad is a remake of "The Showdown," an iconic 1993 Super Bowl spot in which National Basketball Association legends Larry Bird and Michael Jordan sought to outdo each other with seemingly impossible shots to win a Big Mac.
Let me start off by saying I don’t play golf, but I do watch and I am a big fan of the sport. Over the past decade, I’ve watched as Tiger Woods has become the face of golf around the world. He is unbelievably important to the game, and that has to change.
On Dec. 13, Accenture decided to end its six-year sponsorship of Tiger Woods. The next day, Roxanne Taylor, the global consulting firm's chief marketing officer, presented the concept for a new ad campaign to Chief Executive Bill Green. Amid salacious headlines about the golf superstar's alleged extramarital affairs, the new campaign, based on an idea Accenture's ad agency already had on hand, was put on a fast track. It would replace images of Mr. Woods with a lineup of animals pictured in ways designed to jibe with Accenture's longstanding slogan: "High Performance. Delivered."
The sex scandal that engulfed Tiger Woods may have cost shareholders of companies endorsed by the world's No. 1 golfer up to $12 billion in losses, according to a study by two economics professors from the University of California, Davis.
If the Tiger Woods scandal did not give athletes reason to stay in their hotel rooms reading their Kindles, this news may: TMZ is expected to unleash an all-sports spinoff from its gossip Web site early next year.
Global consulting giant Accenture PLC is the first major sponsor to cut ties with golf superstar Tiger Woods since his alleged extramarital affairs surfaced and he announced an indefinite leave from the sport. This is a big move for Accenture, which has prominently featured Woods as its brand representative in ads for years. Many consumers don't know what the global management, technology services and outsourcing company does, but they do know the company is affiliated with Woods, who also has endorsement deals with Nike, Procter & Gamble and Tag Heuer, a unit of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. That close affiliation is a big reason Accenture had to drop Woods, says crisis marketing consultant and author Eric Dezenhall, who heads Dezenhall Resources in Washington, D.C.
NBC has joined the immortals of marketing stupidity. This year the molting peacock network and president Jeff “Have They Fired Me Yet?” Zucker decided to turn five of the primest pieces of prime-time real estate — the hour between 10 and 11 PM from Monday through Friday — into the Jay Leno hour. The result? A 28% drop in viewership (through mid-November). This has not only killed network revenues but done in affiliates who have no lead-in for their late news casts.
Accenture, the giant consulting firm, ended its six-year marketing relationship with Tiger Woods on Sunday, showing once again that in advertising as in sports, there are no sure things. Mr. Woods had been featured in Accenture campaigns with the tagline, “Go On. Be a Tiger,” splashed in business magazines and airport waiting rooms since 2003. Since most consumers have no idea what a company like Accenture does, Mr. Woods became the human face of the corporation and a means to extol the corporate virtues of performance and risk-taking.
Even as Tiger Woods remained hidden from public view on Tuesday in his home, or somewhere else, he has also begun to fade from view in his role as ubiquitous corporate pitchman for an array of products. When last seen in public, Woods was lying on the pavement in front of his home near Orlando on Nov. 27, moments after driving over a fire hydrant and crashing his Cadillac Escalade into a neighbor’s tree. The last time his corporate persona appeared on television was two nights later when, according to Nielsen, he was in a 30-second spot for the Gillette Company.
Accenture’s latest advertising campaign has a picture of Tiger Woods standing on the edge of a stream, club in hand, looking at his ball perched precariously on a rock. “It’s what you do next that counts,” reads the global management consultancy’s strapline. Sponsors of the world’s number one golfer have been asking that question every day since last Friday morning when he drove his Cadillac sports utility vehicle into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Florida home.
I'm not a golf fan, but I will say this about its greatest player: I definitely like Tiger better post-crash. And believe it or not, I think that this will do his brand equity some good for a couple of reasons. First, the obvious: we can relate. Okay, maybe not all of us, but those of us who have had our Escalades bashed in by our wives. In my case, it's a bicycle, but still. This proves the man is actually human instead of a golf-playing, sponsorship-signing robot from MIT. Secondly, the man is overexposed; he's involved in too many brands. If advertising is a cup of coffee, he's the sugar, and the cap fell off long ago. After all, sponsorships, like chemistry, have their saturation point.
As you likely know, Tiger Woods was in an accident under apparently mysterious circumstances early Friday morning. Predictably, the reports and reactions thereto pertaining varied somewhat in quality and timeliness, and predictably, this has led to paroxysms of futurist glee in some and sullen condemnation by others. Now that the smoke has cleared, we can examine the event, which is certainly worth a little inspection despite its obvious triviality, with a little perspective. I’m not going to speculate on Woods’ injuries, the cause of the crash, or rumors of fights and affairs. I don’t care, personally. But how the information proliferated makes for interesting dissection. And the fun part is that there’s something for everybody’s agenda! Many will choose to ignore or emphasize unduly one party’s role in this drama, but the fact is that it very neatly exposes both the strengths and weaknesses of both traditional and so-called new media. I hope you’re sitting comfortably.
I blogged the other day about how shocked everyone seemed to be that the IOC had the gall to award the 2016 Olympics to Rio, rather than Chicago. Even poking a shitty stick in the Second City’s eye by eliminating them in the very first round of voting. But, as I pointed out, based on the financial problems of almost all previous host cities, Chicago should be thankful they didn’t get it. Montreal’s 1976 Olympics left the city with $2.7 billion of debt that it finally paid off in 2005. That’s almost thirty years. Not to mention that these days $2.7 billion won’t even buy you a car company. Which leads me to the subject of sponsorship.
The first Tiger Woods video game, released in 1999, was available as an off-the-shelf disc for the Sony PlayStation console or the PC. Today Tiger Woods games, including the just-released "PGA Tour 10," are available for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox, PCs and mobile phones. Gamers can download new golf courses and equipment, buy expansion packs, play in live online tournaments, stream play to a PC or Mac and order up a specially created iPhone app. Marketing has followed a similar course.
Holism is the concept that the whole has a reality independent and greater than the sum of its parts. Marketing people should pay more attention to this concept. Take Tiger Woods' endorsement of Buick. On the surface, this might seem like a good idea. A young, charismatic, world-class athlete drives a Buick. How could this not improve the perception of the brand?