Media Ad Persuasion
Abstract: The Nike ad that pictures Tiger Woods about to take his last shot before reclaiming the world’s number one golfer in rankings has an emblazoned caption that reads: “Winning takes care of everything”. In the discussion below, I will examine the ad by Nike and how Nike as a brand is obsessed with being the authority in sports equipment and lifestyle.
For Nike to put out an ad that featured Tiger Woods being the number one pro golfer in the world again, gives off different sensations of meaning. Back in November 2009, news broke out that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with multiple sexual partners. The accusation led to Woods crashing his Cadillac Escalade, to his national confession, and to his downward spiral of him not being able to compete and win in golf tournaments. Critics and the media quickly pointed out that it was the end of Woods’s career and deservedly so too. Woods set out to prove the critics wrong and worked on improving his golf game. Woods eventually clawed back to be the number one golfer in the world, and Nike supported Woods throughout the entire ordeal.
The quote: “Winning takes care of everything” was a response from Woods back in 2012 Tour Championship when asked if he was concerned about Rory McIlroy (Busbee, 2013). For Woods, winning allowed him to focus on what he loved to do most and ease his embarrassment of cheating on his wife. “Where the line seems to be drawn for Nike, as an authentic sports-performance brand, is when your transgressions are [related] to the integrity of your performance as an elite athlete” (Kay, 2012). Nike continued to support Tiger Woods because he did not compromise his sports integrity to achieve his success, even though his moral integrity as a good husband was tarnished. For Nike, Woods represented an elite athlete and Nike wanted to be associated as an undisputed authority in sports performance, clothing, and lifestyle. So why does this Nike ad work? The ad persuades us through “inherent drama” of Tiger Woods’s life and presents to us that success is achieved through victory. It reminds us that many things can be forgiven if we were to win.
Nike looked to solidify their relationship with Woods by putting out an ad that targets success through hard work in the face of adversity. On the other hand, Nike decided to drop their sponsorship with Lance Armstrong because his success in cycling was comprised by the use of drug enhancements (Kay, 2012). Nike had no other choice but to drop Armstrong, but kept Woods due to their corporate value of sports integrity.
Bacon, S. & Busbee, J. (2010). The complete tiger woods timeline, from escalade to divorce. Retrieved March 26, 2013 from http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/devil_ball_golf/post/The-complete-Tiger-Woods-timeline-from-Escalade?urn=golf-264574
Busbee, J. (2013). Does the new tiger woods nike ad upset you? come on, really?. Retrieved March 26, 2013 from http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/golf-devil-ball-golf/does-tiger-woods-nike-ad-upset-come-really-200359083--golf.html
Kay, E. (2012). Why nike stands by tiger woods but dumps lance armstrong. Retrieved March 26, 2013 from http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2012/10/19/3526602/tiger-woods-nike-lance-armstrong
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2013). Nike, Inc. Retrieved March 26, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike,_Inc.