Friday, February 27, 2009

The Marketing Power of Tiger Woods Is Amazing

Tiger Woods has been out of golf for the last eight months recovering from knee surgery. And now he’s back and advertisers want to make sure you know it.

Golf and the PGA Tour existed without him. They managed to hold everything together and put out a good product for the last eight months. I understand that golf was around way before Tiger, and it will be around way after Tiger. But never have golf and the PGA Tour been more popular. Tiger is such an integral part of golf and the PGA Tour that I found three different ads celebrating his return in the last two days.

The first is a TV spot from Nike showing all of the happy competitors celebrating their time to shine while Tiger is out. And then reality hits them as Tiger walks into the locker room and steals the glory from their grasp.

The second is a PGA spot in which Tiger whistles and ties his shoes. Nothing else. Doesn’t hit a drive. He doesn’t sink a putt to win a match. He just ties his shoes and whistles. And he doesn’t need to do anything else. These thirty seconds of Tigerness lets you know that he is back and that’s all that matters.

The third is a print layout in this week’s Sports Illustrated by Gatorade. Another simply stated phrase. “Welcome Back Tiger”. In the upper right hand corner is the Gatorade Tiger (his flavor) logo. This is probably a client directed add in. But notice even in this logo Tiger is bigger than Gatorade.

All three ads have one thing in common. They push their products aside to celebrate Tigers return. Of course these companies are looking at this as a chance to garner a little good will and do a little branding at the same time.

But what it really says to me is that golf needs Tiger Woods. It says these advertisers need Tiger Woods. It says that Tiger Woods is a very powerful marketing tool.

What do you think about these ads? Are they a waste of money for the advertiser? Does the branding and good will from these spots justify the costs?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

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