Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger Woods as a Brand Name

I just read about Tiger Wood's latest bimbo count. There is allegedly an eleventh female with whose green Woods has allegedly played without paying the proper fees. I have pretty much ignored the affair till now. I think that the real story is people's reaction. The fact that there is a wife and two children whose familial stability will be affected by this series of affairs.

It turns out that Tiger Woods has lost a great deal in prime time endorsements. Bloomberg News reported on the troubling trend as follows.

"Advertisements featuring Tiger Woods have disappeared from prime-time broadcast television and many cable channels following reports of his extramarital affairs, according to data from Nielsen Co.

The last prime-time ad featuring the 33-year-old golfer was a 30-second Gillette Co. spot on Nov. 29, according to New York- based Nielsen. Woods also was absent from ads on a number of weekend sports programs, including NFL games, Nielsen said.

“Last weekend there wasn’t any advertisement during those games,” said Aaron Lewis, a spokesman at Nielsen."

Gatorade has also dropped the golfing giant, whose off green putts have attracted far more attention than has his golf game since this scandal broke. Radar on line reports as follows.

"Gatorade has dropped Tiger Woods' sports drink.

It's the first major endorsement loss for the golfer
in the wake of his cheating scandal and bizarre one-car crash.

Gatorade released a statement Tuesday saying the move to discontinue its "Tiger Focus" drink had nothing to do with the golfer's growing scandal and that the decision was made before Tiger's car crash and allegations of extra marital affairs."

Let's face it, if you are looking for role models, sports and entertainment should not be your first stop. The people in our own lives, who are probably a lot more three dimensional than an entertainment figure with a managed image. Before Tiger Woods got caught putting his golf tee on the wrong hole, he had an image that was a blank slate. He guarded his privacy, and you could project onto that whatever you wanted. Now advertisers must cope with conflicting imagery, of snickered asides detracting from the clear attention to a celebrity endorsement for which they paid good money. Fortunately, the majority of viewers probably disapprove of his conduct, but that is almost besides the point. Woods is, to a far greater extent than he realised, an employee of his endorsers.

The whole idea of a make believe world of entertainment, of sit coms and superstars with fan clubs has distorted our process of finding people who exemplify behavioral standards for us. Looking in our personal lives, we are far more likely to find people who struggle with personal shortcomings that are all too real to us. For most people, it is not the airbrushed image of perfection, but the real struggle with personality flaws that exemplifies the individualised struggles we all face.

We have reached the point that the lives of TV stars become a sort of soap opera. At least soap operas and sitcoms dissipate harmlessly our desire to gossip. Unfortunately, celebrity scandals touch real people.

The phenomenon of televangelism takes media stardom to new levels of absurdity. The guy who you sometimes inadvertently insult by dozing off during his sermon is the guy who you might actually go to for personal advice. Over the years, he or she watches your family grow up and your newlywed troubles replaced with those with problems with children and grandchildren. It is a lot harder to have unconditional admiration for those we see up clese, because we know them too well. Distance makes human imperfections easier to ignore.

If I have learned anything from the Tiger Woods affair, it is to admire his golf game and nothing more. This lesson applies to anyone who is paid to entertain us on television. The people in my personal life have faults and struggles that are known to me. There are actually lessons to be learned from these jumbles of insights that are spontaneous and not stage managed.

What was life like before you could pop a CD or cassette into a player and listen to a studio recording? Each performance was unique and more or less flawed. You didn't get a perfect performance every time. Life is like that. It wouldn't even surprise me if television superstars looked at themselves on TV and saw a vaguely familiar stranger.

At the end of the day,when we turn off the TV and put away our CD's, we have each other. For better or worse, we are what's happening. So let's make the most of it, because the show we manage is the only one that counts.


Australian Woman said...

I would say that Tiger is a remarkable golfer, but he is a man. I think it was Bill Maher who said, "A man is only as faithful as his options." Tiger had a ton of options.

I say give the guy a break.

Magdeburger Joe said...

I am troubled by the appropriation of the private lives of public figures as entertainment fodder. I disapprove of infidelity, but I have confined my comments to the public obsession with Tiger's Wood's private life. The question of whether he deserves to be cut slack is a question for his wife to answer without TV cameras. There are other pressing matters that beg public attention.