Here There Be Hypocrisy

Nikey you magnificent bastard you’ve done it yet again:

Everyone in this media age is discounting the 30 second commercial but with companies like Nike fashioning work like this…I’d mourn their loss.

Nikey is brilliant for a) keeping Woods and b) meeting this scandal head on (especially in such a fresh and creative way). Granted some will level the obvious—that this just profits from a scandal—but ah…that’s the nature of celebrity. I’m not saying its right—or even wrong—just pointing out the nature of celebrity machine.

There is a reason why tv rating are high when Tiger’s on, why this ad is and will become popular and why “Tiger Woods” remains one of the top searches on sites like yahoo and google: You. (And a little bit me but mainly you). All that rabid interest has to come from somewhere—again the nature of the celebrity machine (especially when the setting is set on “scandal”).

I’m glad Nike kept Tiger—impressed they are taking this all on. Awesome! The companies that dropped Tiger are foolish because (a) they hired Tiger to a good golfer—not a family spokesmodel—and on that Tiger is still widely considered the greatest. (b) Dropping Tiger is hypocrisy. It’s not like these companies are without their own scandals—their own indiscretions.

There’s a reason why on their wikipedia profiles there tends to be a Criticism and controversies section.

Gatorade dropped Tiger and they’re a PepsiCo… flashback to the Pepsi India Pesticide residuals scandal or even better PepsiCo in Burma. Good times.

AT&T Inc. dropped Tiger…remember them in 2007 when they censored the web-brodcast of Pearl Jam’s Lollapalooza anti-Bush rant. Classy….real classy.

Etc. Etc.

When you’re public that means your sins are public, don’t matter if you’re a celebrity or a corporation. Nike has had its shares of controversies and criticisms but certainly standing by Tiger suggests they own them: they’re a part of you and who you are. It’s a bold endearing statement in our mad-hyper era of PR and spin. Flawed but damn if you don’t want a pair of Jordans. Flawed but damn if Tiger didn’t make that amazing put.

Embracing hypocrisy is the first step to reducing it. Not that it’s expected to ever go away. With hypocrisy it’s just more or less…that tends to be the only accurate measurements. And the companies who dropped Tiger have revealed more…not less.

Which is a shame…like Nike this could’ve been a golden opportunity to step up and induce change. Instead it’s just business as usual.


Also published on Medium.

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