The Other Side of McIlroy

The storytelling example that I decided to analyze was a Nike commercial about one of Tiger Woods’s biggest fans. The name of the commercial was titled “Ripple” to represent Jack Nicklaus’s effect on Tiger Woods and Tiger Woods’s effect on Rory McIlroy. It is a television commercial that was published in April of 2015. It is a singular commercial that is not part of a series, but is a factual story from real life. It represents Rory McIlroy growing up idolizing Tiger Woods as he practices golf with determination to be on the same level as Tiger Woods. The brand that it represents is Nike. Nike created and paid for it because the logo is at the end of the commercial and their slogan, Just Do it. Nike was only represented at the end of the commercial and was not clear what the story was advertising until the end. I don’t think this was a problem because the story plot was so engaging that the viewer needed to wait until the end to know the resolution, shortly after the Nike slogan came on the screen.

This type of emotional story of someone’s journey who was determined and never gave up is a common theme of Nike commercials. It represents their slogan, “Just Do It” symbolizing that you will succeed with hard work and determination. The commercials that Nike creates don’t tie together; but represent the same concept. What makes this commercial innovative and interesting is that it tells an inspiring story of a well known professional golfer who looked up to one of the world’s greatest golfers. This story wasn’t known to the public, which made it attention grabbing. It also showed this boy’s persistence, as he grew up, which was a heart warming visual.

Other competitors such as Under Armor have done similar commercials that feature a popular athlete. Although, Nike took a unique plot of McIlroy’s journey and showed the public all of his hard work throughout his life that got him to where he is today. This commercial came out during the Masters and ended up playing a week before Woods and McIlroy played together. The timing of when it was released was relevant, which made the viewers even more engaged in the story line.

The creators gave the commercial a home video feel that made it seem like real life footage. An article published by Business Insider, said that the resemblance of the boy playing McIlroy was almost identical to what he looked like when he was that age. The creators did an amazing job with staging each scene of his life and adding content specifically from McIlroy’s life. McIlroy’s uncle told a great story that was published by the New York Times about a 9 year old boy who wrote a letter to Tiger Woods letting him know that he should watch out for him. Nike gave their viewers a recreated visual of McIlroy’s journey, many times with his uncle along side him. The overall reaction to the Nike commercial was positive and many articles were written about it. The inspiring story was published on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Fortune.com.

Useful lessons that could be taken away from this commercial would be to emotionally engage your audience. With the first few scenes with toddler McIlroy watching Woods on TV and him practicing with plastic clubs in his family room was heart throbbing. It grabbed viewer’s attention with the slow music in the background and him watching the TV with wide eyes. I think emotion is one of the biggest tools to capturing people’s attention. Another lesson that could be used from this Nike commercial would be to create an ad around a popular event that people could relate to. The commercial came out during the Master’s, therefore people were more interested in the main characters at that time and learning the background of one of the most talented golfers in the tournament.