01/16/2014

There’s something sly about Nike golf’s new advertising campaign. The sports brand power is releasing their VR_S Covert 2.0 driver under the tagline “Play in the Now.” The slogan suggests that this driver is the latest innovation to change golf. There’s nothing really sly about that. Nike believes it is ahead of the field when it comes to product evolution. The sentiment borders on arrogance and cockiness. Maybe it’s just plain bold. And why not? The company has golf’s biggest stars, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, at its behest.

Watch the new commercial for yourself:

And here’s where the slyness comes in. Nike, with McIlroy and Tiger in tow, ironically sees itself as the enemy. The sneaker giants are still relatively new to the golf game. Golfers fear change. They therefore fear Nike.

This new commercial takes it a step further. “We’d still be playing with mallets if we didn’t embrace change,” the powers at Nike argue. And there’s some truth to that- a small truth. After all, the natural progress of technology is forward.

The criticism becomes more caustic, though, in the current game. Look at the characters bemoaning the new technologies in each brief segment. What do you see? White, elderly gentlemen speaking with the haughtiness of grandfathers who begin every sentence with “In my day.” They are the status quo of the country club. Nike disrupts the status quo. You’re either with the innovators or part of the aging crowd.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it is a clever, even funny, commercial. The future is always better and change is good. Nike golf would like to represent both.

Dillon Friday 

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