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Nike’s Tiger Woods Ad

...but in today's social media world, you and the competition aren't the only players in the communications game. The rest of the world - customers and non-customers alike - are also players. So, it is just as important to consider what these other "players" will do.

Last month we we had a post titled Marketing Lessons from Games and Sports. In it we discussed the necessity of thinking through our marketing moves, including asking what will our competition – the other “player(s) – do in response?

Nike’s new Tiger Woods commercial featuring the voice of his late father (timed for the opening of the 2010 Masters) is another good case study for that post, but with a twist. In that post, we referenced the potential response of the the competition, but in today’s social media world, you and the competition aren’t the only players in the communications game. The rest of the world – customers and non-customers alike – are also players. So, it is just as important to consider what these other “players” will do.

As it turns out Nike put out an ad showing a silent Woods staring at the camera while the disembodied voice of his deceased father asks if he learned anything. Separate from the question as to whether this ad was effective in its direct communication, I wonder whether Nike thought through the next moves of the other players, specifically the universe of consumers. Immediately after the ad aired, in addition to negative comments throughout the internet, video parodies of it started appearing. Nike might say that they hoped for this (generating buzz), but I’m not so sure that they hoped for all of it; otherwise, why are they now making youtube pull the commercial parodies, invoking copyright infringement?

Below is an original posting of one of the parodies on youtube.

(Unfortunately for Nike, the video can still be found elsewhere. Here is one location: www.gather.com.)

Domus is a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia offering advertising, public relations, digital, and social media marketing expertise in an integrated approach based on sound, classic principles of marketing. For more information, visit us at http://www.domusinc.com.

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