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The Power of Mild Admonishment

Tiger and Nike are back! Instead of abandoning the man when he was down, Nike stood by Tiger’s side. And I’m glad they did. The release of their latest bold, collaborative advertising effort showed that advertising doesn’t have to be pretty, bright, and cheery to be effective.


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Pure advertising genius. Without a doubt the absolute best piece of advertising that I have seen in years! The mere fact that every blogger and his mama were talking about Tiger’s and Nike comeback commercial proves the ad’s effectiveness.

I’ve read a number of fb posts and blogs that all but dogged Nike’s effort. Black bloggers were the worst. One of my fb friends said: “It’s awful. Allowing frigging slave-wage paying Nike to pimp his daddy."

What? Pimp his daddy? Exactly commercial what were you looking at?

Part of what makes this ad so effective is that it would have been easy for Nike make yet another boring, fist-pumping, golf ball balancing television commercial. Instead, they attacked the Tiger Wood controversy head on. Courageous and ingenious. If Nike had come out with the syrupy-sweet commercials of the past, it would have been construed as out of touch; insulting even. Instead, they used the voice of Tiger’s father and mentor, Earl Woods, to connect to Tiger in a way no one else ever could.

This commercial was like full-frontal nudity for Tiger. The grainy, black and white image of him looking at the camera dead-on is the picture of a man staring at his own soul. The stoic image of Tiger, absent of his dazzling smile and flawless complexion, coupled with his father's calm, almost silent admonishment, decreased Tiger to his most basic form... nothing more than a man. A man… a son… a child; each of whom had disappointed his father.

When a child does something wrong, parents sometimes act out of anger. This may lead to physical punishment. I am a proponent of spankings, whippings, beatings… whatever you want to call it. Talking works to a certain extent. After a while, for some children, it takes a little more than talking. (If you don’t agree, that’s fine. That’s why this blog is called That Teowonna!)

But when a child reaches a certain age and level of maturity, the moral infractions they commit bring about disappointment more than anger. That’s when a calm admonishing becomes much more effective than a physical spanking.

On the commercial, Tiger received a very mildly spoken, yet effective dressing down by his father. A dressing down appeals to your integrity more-so than your physical being. Spankings affect the physical; dressings down impacts your spirit. If you have any integrity at all, a dressing down can actually be worse than a physical punishment.

Here’s the thing with admonishment and dressing down… anyone that you respect can effectively admonish you. I recall an incident when I was a senior in high school in which my first cousin, Travis, effectively dressed me down in a way that I will never forget. And he did so without even saying a word.

It was spring time and my friends, classmates and I would go to a young adult dance club called Freeman’s. We used to have a ball at Freeman’s… it was all about dancing and having a good time.

One Saturday night, the club was having a shortest shorts contest. The lady with the shortest shorts would win a hundred dollars. Say what? Strut some short-short and win a hundred bucks? I was down for that. Easy money. Or so I thought.

The day of the contest, I cut off my best pair of jeans and made them into daisy dukes. Not only that, to give them a little extra bling, I decorated them in colored rhinestones. They were cute! (Just like my little 17-year old self!)

When time came for the contest, I ran into the bathroom and changed into my daisy dukes. The music started and they called for all the girls to come to the floor. I rushed onto the floor to be the first girl in the spotlight. I strutted around, like I was in a high school beauty pageant. Little did I know, they weren’t interested in my poise; they were interested in my dancing… dirty dancing… freaky dancing… the kind that girls do at Freak-Nic, Daytona and Black Biker’s Week.

Well, that was NOT gonna happen with me, because That Teowonna! was not that kind of girl! I was a party girl, but I wasn't a freak. So, I kept it simple and did something like the butterfly or Atlanta Jam. Needless to say, they moved on to the next girl rather quickly. One of my classmates was up after me. She was more than happy to give them a show. And give them a show she did! She really worked it. I just stood aside and watched. Then one of the guys said to me, “Don’t let her outdo you!” So, I returned to the floor and started to imitate the movements that my classmate was doing. I had to show her that That Teowonna! would not be outdone.

Just as I my behind was nearing the floor as I was preparing to ‘drop it like it was hot’, I glanced up and saw my cousin’s eyes staring down at me. He just looked at me and shook his head.

And that’s all it took. I came back to myself. Before my butt could ‘get low’, I stopped mid-squat and just walked off the floor. In an instant, my cousin had admonished me with nothing more than a look of shame and disappointment.

Ever since that day, I’ve tried to make sure that I am never pressured to compete against another woman, especially for a title that I wouldn’t be proud to wear. I bet Trav doesn’t know the impact that night had on making That Teowonna! the lady she is today.

Just as Trav’s silent admonishment put me on the right track the being the woman that I am today, I hope Earl Wood’s calm admonishment through Nike’s commercial will help Tiger return to the man he was raised to be. Edit

3 comments

So far this is my favorite article. You really bared your soul on this one. (Pun intended) Here in Augusta, I was going for Tiger, but he made too many mistakes. (on the Golf Course of course!!) Let's hope he minimizes his mistakes on and off the court.


What's with the three T.V.'s playing at the same time. I felt I was in the movie the Matrix. Delete Reply

I agree that those you know who have your best interest in mind can
use just a look or a word to get there message across. The Nike ad is brilliant and I'm so glad that they did not attempt like so many judge Tiger morals. Delete Reply

Thanks for the feedback and head's up on the technical display difficulties. Delete Reply

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