Nike’s bold new Tiger Woods ad, which features the golfer staring into the camera while the voice of his deceased father asks him “if he learned anything,” nearly overshadowed the first round of the Masters Tournament. After shooting 4-under par, Woods, who’s been reluctant to publicly address his personal scandal, was asked during his post-round press conference why he allowed his private life to be the centerpiece of a commercial. Scroll to the 21-second mark:
Whether the ad is effective or not is up for debate (64 percent of EW.com voters think it failed to boost Woods’ image), but it certainly struck a nerve. Woods thought it was “very apropos,” going on to say that “any son who has lost a father, and who meant so much in their life, I think they would understand the spot.”
Woods’ fathers’ words echo just as loudly in S.L.Price’s superb profile of Woods in this week’s Sports Illustrated. The writer quotes the elder Woods as saying: “Tiger gets physically ill when he’s not telling the truth. He can’t sleep, can’t eat, his whole body chemistry is upset. I told him: In order for your life to work, you must come from truth–at inner core. One of his pillars of strength is his integrity.”
I’m guessing Nike didn’t ask Price for his audio transcript of that decade-old conversation to use for their clever commercial.