By MaryEllen Tribby
Many marketers called it “brilliant,” “successful,” and even “inspirational.”
I call it taking the easy way out.
You know the commercial I’m talking about: the Nike commercial that played right before the Masters Golf Tournament. Where Tiger Woods somberly looks into the camera as his father’s voice asks him what he learned blah, blah, blah . . .
Doesn’t it seem a bit like prostitution? Sacrificing his self-respect and what’s left of his reputation for a few bucks?
But even worse than that, Tiger pulled his dead father into his personal mess. Wasn’t it bad enough that Tiger sold out almost every person in his life, including his beautiful wife and children, his business partners, and his friends? Did he really have to drag his dead father into his sordid affairs?
It would have been one thing if his dad had a choice, a say in the matter. Did Tiger really need the money that badly? Does he simply have no respect or regard for his father’s reputation? Does he not understand that, by being associated with Tiger’s psychopathic behavior, his father’s memory is tarnished forever?
We could debate the Tiger situation until the cows come home. The bigger issue here is Nike. And Nike’s choice to make this commercial raises the simple question…
Who’s the Bigger Whore – Tiger or Nike?
My answer: Nike, by a mile!
It would have been so easy for Nike to do a commercial that eliminated Tiger from the equation. A commercial that really had a lesson for young athletes. One in which character trumped exceptional athletic ability.
(And by the way, I firmly believe that when you possess extraordinary skills, like Tiger does, more is expected of you – not less. Part of the gift you have been given is the ability to give back. To become a role model for the millions of kids who want to be a “Tiger.”)
So, Nike, here is an idea. (Feel free to use it!) How about a commercial with Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and Pete Sampras all dressed in Nike golf attire on a beautiful course talking about what’s important in life… things like family, charity, and the environment?
Now that would have been a brilliant, effective, and inspirational commercial. It would not have made your spokesperson look like a total schmuck the way Tiger did.
But that’s not the only benefit of running a Tiger-free commercial. You could have showed our children that actions have consequences. The same lesson we as hard working parents drive home every day.
My nine-year-old son Connor loves playing baseball more then anything. If he is disrespectful in school – to a teacher or another kid – Connor gets his baseball-playing privileges taken away.
During the Masters, Connor actually said, “Boy I can’t believe Tiger gets to play after he hurt all those people.”
Now I’m not saying Tiger should have been prevented from playing in the Masters. But I do question Nike’s decision to glorify Tiger in such a way… and, in doing so, compromise the company’s core values.
It offends me. Not just as a mom, but as a businesswoman.
I would never do something to so blatantly disregard my company’s values and goals. In fact, that’s one reason I firmly believe that every company or organization should have a mission statement.
What Is a Mission Statement and Why Do You Need One?
The following is the Mission Statement for Working Moms Only:
“Our mission is to supply the tools that can give EVERY working mom the ability to lead a healthy, wealthy, and more balanced/blended lifestyle. To create a community where millions of working moms from all over the world come together in support and celebration of each other.”
It’s simple and it’s sincere. And everyone I do business with gets it – point blank.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not taking the time to craft a mission statement. If you do not have one, I urge you to write one immediately.
Once you do so, you will find that your customers understand you better. You will begin working only with joint venture partners who share your values. All of your employees will have a better understanding of their purpose in your organization. You will find that it is much easier to make decisions about how to run your business (including whether an advertising campaign is appropriate!).
Your mission statement should be a formal, short, written statement of your company’s/organization’s purpose. In a nutshell, it should answer the question “Why does my company exist?”
If you’ve never developed a mission statement before, here are a few things it may address:
- The purpose and aim of your organization (i.e., a definition of what your company is and does)
- What your company aspires to be
- What features/characteristics distinguish your company from its competitors
- Your company’s core ideology, values, purpose, and visionary goals
- The products and/or services your company offers
Your mission statement should be specific and narrow enough that it couldn’t apply to just any company… but it should be flexible enough to allow for growth and change. Make sure that the statement is clear (i.e., it does not contain a bunch of buzz words or industry jargon) and easy for potential clients, partners, and employees to understand.
Once you have your mission statement laid out, you can turn to it for help guiding your company’s actions, laying out its primary goals, offering direction, and directing decision-making.
There is one aspect of your mission statement that is more important than all others: your core values.
Core Values Still Count
In an ever-changing world, core values remain constant.
Core values are NOT descriptions of the work you do or the strategies you employ to accomplish your mission. Rather, your values underline your work, how you interact with others, and which strategies you use to fulfill your mission. They are the basic elements guiding how you go about your work. They are the practices you use every day in everything you do.
Core values should:
- Govern personal relationships
- Guide business processes
- Clarify who you are
- Articulate what you stand for
- Help explain why you do business the way you do
- Guide you in how to teach
- Inform you on how to reward
- Guide you in making decisions
- Require no external justification
The following are the Core Values of Working Moms Only:
* We are committed to enhancing our customers’ financial, intellectual, and physical wellbeing.
* We continually strive for excellence in all of our products and services.
* We partner with only those who share our customer-centric commitment.
* We strive to provide a workplace that operates in the best interests of our employees’ professional and personal growth.
Once you have written your mission statement and core values, post them. Post them in a spot where everyone who walks into your office or visits your website can see them.
Review them on a regular basis with your employees and business partners. And always make sure when you bring a new employee into your business they know this is what you stand for and why you are in business.
Of course, writing a mission statement and core values is not enough. What matters is living them on a daily basis.
Use these tools to help you make decisions about your business – from which companies you partner with to which products you design to how you communicate with your clients.
Allow your mission statement and core values to guide you… and you will never find yourself making questionable decisions like Nike did with their Tiger Woods commercial. The decision will be made for you.