Posts Tagged ‘Golf

13
Apr
10

He Just Did…Sort of.

This weekend, Tiger Woods made a hesitant return to the green under the competing spotlights of the media and the baking Augusta sun at the 74th Masters Tournament in Georgia. After a stellar start on Thursday, Woods’ five months of down-time may have caught up to his keenness on the course.  Placing fourth on Sunday– five strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson– Woods claimed that he “made too many mistakes,” and that his efforts to regain a foothold were ultimately “unsuccessful.” In reference to a few poor shots, Woods added that “these are not things I normally do. So I’m not going to be smiling and not going to be happy.” Woods has won four Masters Tournaments in the past.

It has always been impossible to tell by focusing on Tiger’s “game face” whether he is sad, happy, or in the least bit emotional about his game. It is only after sinking tough shots that spectators are able to witness Wood’s overwhelming display of accomplishment. Alternately, when he falls short, Wood’s frustration leaks from his pores like the sweat on his face.  As of late, especially, the media circus surrounding Wood’s marital infidelity have landed him in front of even more camera lenses than before, and it seems as though everybody has a different take on how Tiger “should” be handling his personal issues, or how his expression “should” appear on the cover of so many tabloids. Either way, since Woods recognized the relentlessness of the press months ago, he has opted to attempt speaking for himself on a number of occasions in an attempt to suffocate a few of the flames.

Tiger’s latest move? An endorsement with Nike in the form of a television advertisement that has everybody feeling some way or another about it. Just in case you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is:

The voice you hear is an audio excerpt from an interview with Tiger’s late father, who passed away four years ago. Earl Woods coached Tiger exclusively during his beginning years in the sport, and grew to be his lifetime mentor and inspiration. In this commercial, a deceased Woods appears to provide posthumous questioning concerning the unnamed issues in his son’s personal life.

I won’t say whether or not I “approve” of the advertisement, simply because it is effective beyond its actual content in a way that Nike has seemingly perfected. Regardless of whether Woods is taking a selfish approach by misappropriating the words of his deceased father while simultaneous making money off of a supposedly serious issue, or simply displaying vulnerability with the help of a Nike marketing scheme, this commercial is powerful. Unsettling, even.

For as long as I can remember, Nike has been uncannily good at making television spots that we watch from beginning to end. For the 30 to 60 second window of a commercial, Nike transforms the whole world of sports into a thing of epic proportion, and athletes into modern-day deities of Grecian caliber. And the thing is, Nike rarely uses these commercials to push any specific product.  They’re all about branding– in hopes of finding a permanent spot in the universe’s collective conscience. I compiled a few of my favorite Nike adds here. What do you think?

LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu’s fates collide. Great concept and feel. This might as well be a movie preview.

Incredible editing. Synchronized to “Ali in the Jungle” by the Hours. Powerfully motivating stuff.

Any commercial featuring the GOAT doing what he did beat is classic. This is just one of many Nike ads featuring Jordan, but I chose it because of its speechlessness. Nike loves to let the subject of their commercials tell a story with little to no narration.

More MJ. Years after Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” campaign, the world still wants to live the dream.

I think this one aired during a Superbowl in the last three or four years. Clever and lighthearted, Nike shows us its humorous side with this one.

Last but not least, a classic featuring MJ and Spike Lee from 1991. This one’s got plenty of dialogue, but it’s all for a good cause. I mean, it’s the shoes.

Did I leave any off this list that I should have mentioned? Do you have a personal favorite?

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