Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tiger - Le Tigre

A couple of weeks ago, I started a discussion on one of my LinkedIn groups about the decisions facing the brands using Tiger Woods as their spokesman. The discussion focused on the branding implications - how Tiger's transgressions would affect each brand; whether they should drop him as a spokesman, and what affect that may have on the public's perception of their brand; and whether the "Tiger" brand is finished altogether.

While many stated their belief (mine as well) that the effects of this scandal will in all likelihood heal in time and that Tiger can bounce back, the best way to handle this issue may vary quite a bit depending on the brand. One person pointed out that Accenture, whose brand image centers around integrity, had no choice but to drop Tiger immediately. Tiger is now seen (at least at present) as a direct contradiction to their messaging. Even if people do not respond in the absolute negative to the campaign featuring Tiger, at the very least his image will serve as a distraction from the message and a cause for jokes. Neither helps Accenture sell its services.

But, what about a brand not associated with Tiger deciding to use his scandal to their advantage? While perusing Internet articles recently, I came across a piece from The Daily Finance discussing clothing company Le Tigre's new billboard referencing Tiger Woods. The ad states "Golf needs a Tiger - Let's get back on course", and advertises a deal on polo shirts that will send 20 percent of profits to a golf charity for teaching kids the game.

While some may definitely see the ad as both mean-spirited and a shameless attempt to use Tiger to promote themselves, I tend to think it will ultimately have a different affect on most people. The brand name itself obviously opens the door for some sort of association with the golfer. But, how to use that now is tricky. Le Tigre is clever in their approach. They plainly state that golf is not the same without Tiger Woods. Golf needs a "Tiger" of some kind to bring to the game what he brought to it. Next they offer a solution - a way to "get back on course" and past what has taken place. The solution is a direct association with a charity that exists to bring the game of golf to children from various backgrounds. The message being that through the purchase of these clothes each of us can contribute to a cause which inspires and positively influences young children, and may even give them an opportunity to be the next big star.

A very clever ad campaign at the perfect time in my opinion. Thoughts?

You can read the original article here: