“Funny, when my dad talks to me from the Great Beyond in a Nike ad, he says ‘Mostly, we watch people make whoopie.’”

twnikead

That’s author Colson Whitehead (John Henry Days) in the hed, on Twitter, taking a little spit out of Tiger Woods’s new Nike ad, above.

In the spot, the disembodied voice of Woods’ late father and golf mentor, Earl, who died of a heart attack in 2006, is heard urging the athlete to deeper self-examination and introspection:

“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?”

And that’s it. That, and a very controlled, low-key camera dolly-in to Woods’ expressive, soulful eyes.

The spot, which ran before and after Tiger teed off during the Masters Tournament, is the first Nike piece with Tiger to air, post the golfer’s massive Bimbo-gate sex scandal. (During the controversy, over a dozen women surfaced, claiming they’d slept with the married superstar.)

don_kirshner_2_120This commercial moves me to ask the question my sister and I always did after watching each lame Kansas video on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, right, late Saturday nights when we were kids: What does it mean?

Nike explains,

“We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father.”

One expert considers it a valid way to re-introduce the athlete.

“You’ve stayed with the man, how do you re-engage?” said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “It’s not a question of what we would like to do under perfect circumstances, it’s like we’ve stayed the course, he’s back, how do we address it?”

The ad also plays off Woods’ prodigy aura by using his father, who is partly credited with Woods’ early success.

Woods has repeatedly said since re-emerging into public life that he strayed from the values instilled in him by his parents.

Thoughts?

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#1 keyword winner on 11.12.11 at 2:17 am

I have always been a fan of Tiger – good to see him back in action. Wish him luck in his comeback

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