Tiger Woods has been getting the corporate version of a long time out. After six years, Accenture announced yesterday that it was pulling its sponsorship pact with Tiger (quick! Someone come up with something catchy to fill up all those empty airport billboards!). I suppose that, after announcing an indefinite break from professional golf, Woods wouldn't have much of a sponsorship-worthy image to boast (unless a company can find some inspiration in a man in a robe lying on a couch watching Law and Order: SVU reruns). Some of Tiger's other sponsors (Gillette, Tag Heuer) are scaling back their use of Tiger's image, but haven't booted him completely … yet. But of all Tiger's sponsors, it's Accenture that utilized his face the most—having made it the focal point of its entire ad campaign. Not only that, but according to a former Accenture employee, "Tiger Woods is on everything, on all of the PowerPoint presentations internally, slides and all that." The news of Accenture's sponsorship pull was all the more crushing, coming on the same day that Playgirl to publish some nudie pictures it received that may or may not actually be of Tiger Woods.
When you've been relying on a celebrity to be the face of your company, it can be a huge blow to the company to learn that that person is actually a real dog. That's why I've come up with a few suggestions for alternative marketing campaigns for Accenture—ideas that will surely contribute to the branding trajectory that Tiger started.
Tony the Tiger. You know—the energetic, bouncy, sugar-jolted tiger from Frosted Flakes? With the health food movement gaining force by the day and the general distaste for anything less than absolutely wholesome, this guy's gotta be looking to pick up some work on the side. Plus, you know, it might be good to stick with the whole tiger theme. Both for the sake of continuity, and because Accenture might be able to recycle some of its old marketing materials.
Ralph Macchio, or Karate Kid wunderkind Daniel Larusso. Scrawny, awkward teenager becomes the big man on campus after rising up to defeat his ultimate competitor, John Kreese. Drama, fight scenes and a championship match all set to the soul-stirring tempo of "Eye of the Tiger." So you've got your self-made hero, your tiger theme and a great soundtrack—sounds like marketing heaven.
The letter A: Simple, to the point and—who knows?—maybe the tiger theme isn't the best way to go. Then, also, Accenture can put up whatever kind of ad it wants, and just simply say at the end, "Brought to you by the letter A." And, historically speaking, letters usually don't have extramarital affairs, and generally have pretty pleasant dispositions, so this might be the safest bet for the long haul.
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