A controversial new ad for Nike features not only Tiger Woods, but the voice of his late father.
Earl Woods is heard saying, "I want to find out what your thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything."
As he does, the black-and-white commercial shows an ultra-serious-looking Woods.
The ad, says Adweek advertising critic Barbara Lippert, is "definitely powerful. Creepy and cynical. But it does what Nike needed to do."
On "The Early Show" Thursday, Lippert observed to co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that, "For Nike, Tiger is like one of the banks on Wall Street. He's like Citibank. He's too big to fail. They have to prop him up and they have to show that he's learned a lesson and that he's been scolded.
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"As the corporate parent, they can't do it. The needed his real parent. But at the same time, I don't think anyone expected them to play the daddy death card."
Lippert said that "with the big puppy dog eyes" Tiger has in the commercial, "it's kind of scary to look at him. You don't know exactly where he is, in another world or something. But it's like the church of the holy swoosh is giving him absolution and exonerating him so they can move on.
" … They want to get this over with, address it in some way indirectly, so that they can start selling clubs and pants and shirts and hats again. And they feel like this was the best way to address it, although it brings up another irony (with) the reputation of his father.
"The credibility of the whole ad is at stake if you really know about his father. No one wants to speak ill of the dead, but, in fact, he was no paragon of marital fidelity either.
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"But at the same time, it's a very powerful piece of film. It's very polarizing. The people who love Tiger and are pumped that he's playing again will love it and the people who hate Tiger will really hate it. And they're already venting on the Internet."
Either way, Rodriguez noted, they'll talk about it, which is what Nike wants. "Exactly," Lippert agreed.
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