Tiger Woods' new Nike ad features late father asking 'Did you learn anything?' Okay, you got our attention.

Nike just released its first post-scandal Tiger Woods ad, featuring a simple black-and-white shot of a forlorn-looking Woods in Nike garb, staring into the camera as the voice of his late father Earl Woods plays overhead. “Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive,” says the elder Woods in the 30-second spot, which played tonight on ESPN and the Golf Channel. “To promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?” The camera slowly zooms in on Tiger’s face, finally flash-cutting in silence to a white Nike logo against a black screen.

Check out the ad after the jump, and then let’s discuss it, shall we?

It’s not clear yet where the audio of Earl Woods, who passed away in 2006, originally came from, but using it to essentially rebuke Tiger for his behavior is definitely all kinds of striking. It’s also intriguing as an act of brand management — Nike’s and Tiger’s. When asked about the ad, Nike’s only response was the following statement: “We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father.”

What’s most interesting to me about the ad is how it plays as an act of both personal and corporate penance. Nike has been one of the superstar golfer’s most steadfast supporters in the wake of the image-shattering revelations of Woods’ habitual infidelity, and now the company gets to justify its loyalty by also serving as Tiger’s surrogate scold. And just in time for his return to golf at one of the sport’s biggest tournaments, too.

What do you make of the ad, Popwatchers? Is it the right first step? Does using Earl Woods’ words from beyond the grave work for you, or is it just simply too eerie? And do you think it’s smart for Nike to be front-and-center on Woods’ national campaign to make amends?



Comments (244 total) Add your comment
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  • EWsMom

    Using his DEAD FATHER’S VOICE to sell some craptastic China-made Nike gear…does this man have no shame?

    • Ham

      Oh shut up Ew’sMom. Have you no shame? Leave the man alone. What business of YOU to judge? Are you perfect? I bet that would be Hell to the No!

      • UGH

        Can it, Ham.
        EW’s Mom’s opinion is well deserved and welcome.

      • James D

        Really was super creepy. It turns me away from the product rather than towards it. Bad move personally for Tiger as well as a bad move for advertising for Nike. Some things should just not be done, and this is one of them. I believe there should be more privacy to this matter. I don’t wanna hear of
        Tiger’s infidelity, rather, I just wanna see the focus back on the golf. He slept with many women, that’s in the past. Why can’t everyone just move on? It’s not our problem, it’s his to deal with.

      • elr

        To James D
        I totally agree with you. The ad is creepy and the focus of the ad should be on his return to golf. I’m sick of SEEING and HEARING about it, and I bet I’m not the only one. You would think that NIKE would want to move on too.

      • Kathy

        Way to tell em Ham. When we have kids well tell them over and over and over…. it is bad to do drugs, be a good person and cheating is bad as they get older. In hopes that if they do these things they will hear our voice in their heads…..even if we are DEAD or alive. I think Nike is brilliant. Is Tiger not human? Has he not thought about his voice of reason (his father), and wish he was here for him to lean on. Of course he has. Last time I checked he breathed air and drank water….he looks human. Infidelity is on the rise in most American homes, and what is sad is most of these bashers have no idea that the same is happening in their own homes. People should think twice before they judge.

      • Amy

        I just can’t understand why this man can’t just shut up and play golf? I don’t want to look at him, see him or hear about him. However, all the people that say “oh, don’t judge him, he’s just a man, blah, blah, blah”. They wouldn’t say that if he did what he did to them. I just want his wife and children to be spared anymore embarrassment of this boob.

    • Kevin S

      I totally agree with EWs mom.

      Ham, if you would bother to read her comment, you’d realize she was criticizing Nike for their poor taste, not Tiger.

      • Amadeus

        “does this man have no shame?”

        no she is criticizing tiger as well.
        Yes its an ad, but he’s not selling anything other than Tiger. And he’s doing a great job at that.

    • Amadeus

      I’d just like to say, what is the big deal? He cheated on his wife, that is between him and his wife. The Tiger Saga and the media attention it has received is more on an indictment on Americans. Are our lives so mundane that we have to criticize Tiger? Why are our children looking up to athletes as role models? Why do we care what athletes do outside of their respective pitch, field, or court?

      Anyways I Just figured out I am wasting my time ranting on this board.

      Good day to you all.

      • kimmer

        well said Amadeus.

        And I like the ad.

      • Diane

        I couldn’t agree more

      • Thin White Duke

        The French are laughing at us.

      • Shane

        Amadeus is 100% right as is (David is that you?) Thin White Duke.
        This is soooooooo not an issue except for uptight people and self-righteous women (and I am female) who put ludicrous expectations on men to fulfull their own selfish agendas.
        This is why marraiges fail- not infidelity. Elin knew what she was getting into, don’t cry about it now.
        And the rest of the women in North America need to grow up. We put ridiculous expectations on men and then cry when they fail, which of course they will do because its nature.
        Its women who need to change, not men. The same goes for poor Jesse, getting crucified for something that half the guys in the world are doing right now.
        Just grow up ladies. Please.

      • Renee

        Thin White Duke – You are right..We are laughing at you.

      • Kate

        I agree with Amadeus, but disagree severely with Shane. It’s not unrealistic expectations of women (many men do not cheat). It’s the cult of celebrity we worship. We give these people adoration, obscene amount of money, and allow them to do almost anything they want to ridiculous degrees, and then we act surprised when they behave like entitled douchbags. We create their attitudes, and then get off on judging them when they fall. It’s a sick process.

      • harry

        very well put Amedeus

      • Janie

        Shane, I don’t know what kind of an alternative reality you live in where fidelity and loyalty are considered “ridiculous expectations” in a marriage or any monogamous relationship for that matter. Plus your justification that Tiger & Jesse’s behavior is acceptable because many men do it is simply ludicrous. You should take your own advice. Please.

      • leggoboyi

        I HATE hearing about how we shouldn’t look up to celebrities or sports figures as “role models”, that we shouldn’t “expect” to hold them to a high standard. I ask you this…shouldn’t EVERY human being be held to a high standard? Shouldn’t we ALL be striving to be our best, to not hurt others, not cheat, steal, lie? ALL people should be held to a high standard, period. We have lost our way if we are arguing that ANYONE should not be held to a high standard.

    • PiratesDaughter

      Ya know this comment and those similar just show they don’t remember or never knew Tiger’s father. Are you people forgetting this man PUSHED his son. PUSHED his son to be the best. Had a golf club in his hands after he could barely walk. The man was all about success and doing everything you had to do to get there. Wherever this man’s spirit is…he’s proud of Tiger and has absolutely no problem with this ad. He encouraged Tiger to do everything he could to be on top. I like the ad and I like the fact that instead of being these ridiculous judges of a person’s private life, Nike is supporting him. Honestly I’m buying something from Nike soon just for that. No one is perfect and Nike recognizes that. My money is yours soon Nike.

      • Monica

        Well, he is growing up to be just like his father….having affairs on Elin like Tiger’s dad did with his mom.

    • MarySueBob

      Oh please EW’s MOM – I am sure his family discussed this and I think it’s very approrpiate – especially given the dynamic of their relationship when his dad was alive.

    • bill

      Nike and Tiger are saving face and cashflow by taking something that is none of our business and endorsing it as something that is our business. It’s wrong, but interesting. It will work on the public.

      • GGG

        Well, the ad is serving it’s purpose: people are talking about Nike.

    • Sophie Ann

      TACKIEST commercial I have EVER seen! NIKE is really scraping the bottom of the barrel!

      • Brian

        Scraping the bottom of the barrel? Not sure you understand what that idiom means.

      • Voice of Reson

        Oh come on…that commercial from Nike is BRILLIANT!!!!!! I really think you people need to get a life and stop being so judgemental. Just remember these words, “we are all sinners, and fall short of the Glory of God.”

    • TR

      You’re all wrong. The ad is brilliant. We’re sitting here arguing about it, right? That’s exactly what good advertisements doo.

      • lac

        Agree
        BTW no one cared that Nike used Earl Woods during Father’s Day 2009. So what’s the difference. The ad ask the questions alot of people were asking. I agree it is brilliant. It will be interesting to see the next commercial.

    • Hmmm

      So if nike came to you and said “we will give you millions of dollars to use 30 seconds of your parents voice” you would say “no thanks” I find that highly unlikely.

      • Heather

        That’s right, I wouldn’t. It’s called integrity. Something that few people hang on to these days. Sad.

    • Mirdeb

      Amen, Tiger needs to get a grip quick…

  • LOL

    Tiger: “I learned to get laid constantly. Thanks for asking.”

    • Yes

      +1 to you, sir

      • JTinAtlanta

        I was waiting for him to say, “Yes..”…

        And then the old “Just Do It.” slogan appears.

      • Karlover

        Or maybe change it to “Just Did It…A LOT”

    • Katie G

      Hahahahahahahaha
      hilarious

    • Anne

      Hole in one, LOL. The only way it could be better was say “Thanks Dad” since the old man was a bit of a ladies’ man himself.

  • vince

    Though i respect Nike for having the balls to make a bold commercial such as this one, it seems to be in poor taste. Using the voice of Woods’ deceased father (whom we all know Tiger had an extremely close relationship with) just screams “shock value” to me. I don’t know why Tiger signed off on this ad, but I know he would never have given consent to use his dead father’s voice before he got caught up in this scandal.

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      True! That’s what I couldn’t put my finger on, why I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much. Yuck, and shame on Tiger. I know he wants his career back, but this is a shameless ploy to get it back quick, without actually having to work back everyone’s favor. Poor form.

      • Matt

        Work back our favor? What has Tiger done to you personally that he needs to make amends for? I just don’t understand how the public needs an apology, the man didn’t cheat on us. And just for the record his career is playing golf, which he is finally back doing since “the incident.” Tiger’s career is fine. When he passes Nicklaus he will solidify his legacy as the greatest golfer who ever lived. Oh, and he liked to double dip, shame on him.

        I don’t understand how his indiscretions off the course change in any way how we view him strictly in terms of golf. Government officials do this stuff all the time and get less outrage out of people. The ad is brilliant work by Wieden+Kennedy. I don’t see how its creepy or poor taste because the way it plays it’s as if Tiger is remebering his father’s words. I’m sure he’s heard that paragraph play in his own head a million times since the scandal broke. It’s a fantastic ad, hands down.

  • joeschmoe

    It’s a great ad because it neither asks the viewer to condemn nor forgive.

    • Sally in Chicago

      He’s brave to do that ad.

      • Greg

        Brave? Um, he wanted to keep the millions Nike pays him and Nike wants the publicity it will bring. It’s win-win for them both, but brave? That is WAY too far. He likes money and having sex with a lot of people. Nothing wrong with either thing, but bravery is not the first word that comes to mind.

      • Rich

        He’d be much braver if he just came out and said, “I don’t have a ‘sex addiction,’ you idiots. I’m just a huge celebrity who’s insanely rich and therefore women throw themselves at me. And because I don’t really value my marriage, I have sex with as many of them as I can. Fortunately, none of this has any effect on my continued ability to get a small white ball into a round hole using less strokes than the other men I play against. And isn’t that why you paid me insane amounts of money in the first place?”
        “Oh yeah. Buy Nike.”

      • Chey

        Completely agree with Rich!

      • @Rich

        Too true!

    • PiratesDaughter

      oh quite agree. good comment.

  • Tracye

    Wow! That was a really smart commercial.

  • tigergolfbutnotanexample

    yeah – daddy taught tiger everything. daddy did the same thing to tigers mom.

    • Suzanne

      Exactly what I was thinking. This is in very poor taste because the last person in the world who should be lecturing Tiger is his father. After Tiger’s affairs blew up, we learned that Earl had been constantly unfaithful throughout his marriage. That’s all I thought about when watching this ad.

    • kim

      too true and more unflattering stuff is coming out about him too. i just think it’s in poor taste

  • sockit2me

    JUST STOP IT!

  • marc

    Maybe just asking for redemption

    • Ham

      Like Jesus said: “Let those without sin be the first to cast the first stone”……….

      • RM

        It’s so easy to judge and condemn people. We all messed up at one time or another. Great ad and only God and time will tell if Tiger will get his act together.

  • marc

    Oh and by the way if you feel you are perfect, look in the mirror and at yourself, not the one you are hiding behind your eyeballs

    • Ham

      I agree with Marc!

  • ericalina

    It would have been awesome if they co-opted the 1980s drug commercial and Tiger said, “FROM YOU ALRIGHT! I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU.”

    • John

      Nice.

    • Jen

      LOVE IT!

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      you have a flair for the dramatic. carry on.

  • Billy LaTour

    At first, WOW!
    Then, as I considered it, lose all the Nike gear. Only the logo at the end would have been enough. I know that’s how he plays, but I hope that’s not how he dresses in normal life. Naked (shirtless) would have been better. That said, it will work, and very well for him.
    Bilbeaux

    • Amy and Seth

      Really? You think a guy apologizing for a sex scandal should do a commercial naked? Really?

    • Matt

      Yea it would be a poor choice to have him shirtless. All of America just spent the last 6 months obsessing that Tiger was naked a lot. They want him wearing as much as possible. The gear is meant to show Nike stood by him when every other sponsor jumped ship.

  • NurseDeb

    It’s STUPID. NIKE can cover for Tiger’s stupidity all it wants but it’s not gonna change what happened. I lost respect for Tiger and have always thought NIKE charged too much for their crap anyways.

  • stephen

    Thought provoking and cool…glad Nike supported him…as far as all the judges go who comment..let he who has not sinned…
    Also, the amount of people that want to punish hum or wee him lose it all makes me sick. He still is an excellent athlete and worked hard for it.

    • stephen

      oops punish him or see him..lol

  • Mich

    Everyone makes mistakes as we are all only human. I think forgiveness should be key. He did after all apologise and the world know’s about his mistakes because he worked hard to become the best!

    • Scooterette

      yeah, but it’s not like he was forthcoming with the apology/information to his family or public. He only apologized and sought “rehab” after one of his mistresses sold her story to the press. Had that not happened, he’d still be on his philandering ways today and not “sorry.”

      • KP

        I’ve never commented in regards to Tiger, but I decided to now. I know I’m in the minority, but I actually do think that Tiger suffered from sex addiction (it does actually exist). From all my studies, he seems to have the most basic signs of it. He wouldn’t have realized the effect his actions were having, so he wouldn’t have felt the need to apologize for anything. With that being said, he owed no one an apology but his family. People have come to idolize celebrities and put them on a pedestal. Somehow we think we’re entitled to an apology and we’re not. When I became a fan of Tiger, it was because he was an amazing golfer. As long as he continues to be that, I will be a fan. He committed adultery; it’s not the worst thing that someone could do. There are more important things going on in the world than his number of mistresses. Who am I to pass judgment when I am far from perfect? No one is perfect, we don’t know him personally, and frankly, the crucifixion by the media and other people alike is getting old. Sorry for the rant. As for the ad: I like it. It was quite powerful.

  • elena

    I kind of loved that. Exploitative or not, it was thought provoking. And epically sad. And aren’t all ads, to a certain extent, exploitative? Argue away, internets!

    • Amanda

      Right on the money, Elena! I couldn’t say it better. Powerful, thought-provoking, and yeah, probably kind of exploitative.

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