Categorized | Entertainment, News, Sports, US

New Tiger Woods Nike Commercial ft. Earl Woods As Obi-Wan

By now, just about everyone has seen the new Nike commercial featuring a stoic Tiger Woods staring into a camera lens with the voiceover of his father, Earl Woods, asking him what he has learned.  Is this Tiger Woods’ Obi-Wan moment?  You know, the all-knowing and all-powerful wise mentor speaks from the grave to give direction based on maturity, philosophical introspection, and a self-inventory of character-building experiences?  Will Tiger Woods now have to go to the Dagobah system — or perhaps Pebble Beach — in a second ad and find his personal Yoda? 

What exactly was Nike attempting to impart in this commercial?  And why in the wide, wide world of sports did Tiger allow this ridiculous ad to see the light of day? 

The 30-second commercial is presented in black-and-white (a nod to right-and-wrong and knowing the difference).  Earl Woods says:  “Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, 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.”

One can argue that the Nike ad is symbolic, that it shows a stubborn child/man being carefully chided for some unknown transgressions by the memory of his father during a learning moment.  One can also look at it as positing that the stoic Tiger Woods will remain quiet but is determined to make things right with the world (through Nike’s sponsorship, of course). 

But one could also argue that having Earl Woods’ voiceover  on the ad was an ironic blunder.  There have been allegations that Earl Woods was also a serial cheater.  Instead of appearing to be a determined golfer and better man to honor his father and his lessons, he might be emulating them.  Unfortunately, the commercial actually makes the world’s greatest golfer look petulant and determined to remain silent about his alleged mistresses and affairs.  And nowhere in his behavior for the past several months has there been a promotion of discussion, a cathartic display of feelings or a revelation of feeling. 

And don’t you expect a “You have done well, apprentice” line by the time the commercial ends? 

The ad does nothing to enhance Tiger Woods’ career or rebuild his devastated image.  It only seems to enhance the scandalous choices he has made.  And with the revelation of another alleged mistress hitting the newsstands the same day the Nike commercial was released, it appears a bit late to the scene and contrived. 

So… What has he learned? 

Talk as little as possible, admit even less, play through, and let Nike, his $100 million sponsor, use him however they like as long as checks keep coming.

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