Nike has aired a new Tiger Woods commercial that’s very different from the standard sports spots. A camera focuses on Woods’ solemn face while the voice of Tiger’s father, Earl, gives the following insight:
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?
(Camera flashes reflect on Tiger’s face a couple times at the end).
Watching it, you get the sense that Tiger is exposed. You don’t realize it’s just Tiger alone until the camera flashes reflect on his face. Tiger looks solemn; perhaps he’s intended to look rueful, too. The whole thing is very intimate and art house.
It’s an interesting portrayal of Tiger, different from any other sports commercial out there. When I watched the spot, it didn’t provoke any empathy for Tiger. I didn’t know what it was supposed to mean. But it stuck. It made the Nike brand look more serious and edgy. And that might just be the point.