Tears of a Tiger: Nike Takes Cues from Disney

17 Apr

By now, we’ve all seen the latest Tiger Nike ad.  But just in case you’ve been living under a rock, like me, for the past week, here it is:

The most common response I’ve seen and heard has been, “what was Nike thinking?” Admittedly, when I first saw Tiger staring solemnly into the camera as the voiceover of his father reprimanded him from the heavens, I laughed.  Seriously.

The ad depicted a Tiger that was taking himself and his scandals much too seriously.  “Get over it,” I screamed at the screen.  This was Nike’s intended response.  By giving the public one last whiff of a mournful Tiger mechanically standing before the camera, the company is allowing us to close the book on the whole shenanigan—once and for all.

By releasing the ad the day before the Masters’ opening, Nike officially christened a new phase in Tiger’s life, a phase not bogged down by guilt or public scorn.  Or at least that was what the ad sought to do.

I wonder where the idea of using the Tiger’s deceased father to do a voice-over originated?  I think the notion was inspired by another famed feline: The Lion King.

Think about it.  In the scene when Simba is scared to return (anyone else see a little parallelism here) to his rightful place, his father reprimands him (at 4:04) and challenges him to face and learn from his past.

Just like Tiger, Simba takes on the persona of a small child that with puppy eyes and ashamed demeanor as he receives the chastisement from his father.

I think Nike went for a very dramatic yet minimalistic commercial to deliver the punch-combination of Earl’s words and Tiger’s solemn facial expressions.  Even if the ad wasn’t inspired by the voice-over scene with James Earl (sound familiar?) Jones, it certainly has the same appeal: The powerful imagery of the  fallen son with a deceased father coaxing him back to greatness is present in both.

I digress.

Nike  has never shied away from its celebrity scandals.  The company stood by Tiger.  It stood by Kobe.  And years ago, it stood by Charles Barkley.

And just like today’s Tiger ad, Nike released an ad several years ago to address the controversy and scandal surrounding the athlete.

The now famous advertisement in which Barkley barked, “I am not a role model,”  shocked viewers, but drove home the point that athletes are simply athletes.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

But different strokes are for different folks.  Personally, I feel both ads considered the unique climate surrounding each celebrity’s scandals, the distinct persona and personality  of each athlete and the exact message that the each athlete’s respective audience needed to hear.

Nevertheless, it would be fun to see Tiger, with a little attitude, give the world the finger and state boldly that he is a golfer, not a saint.  But then the golden boy wouldn’t stand a chance at regaining his title as the world’s most marketable athlete.

Until next time. . .


3 Responses to “Tears of a Tiger: Nike Takes Cues from Disney”

  1. Robin April 22, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Very good, LaShonda. Very good.


  2. lizsheerin April 27, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    I think you make a great point with the reasoning behind the Tiger ad. Like most of the world, I have been finding the parody ads that followed much more entertaining and enjoyable than the original.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: