Of all the humiliations that Tiger Woods has suffered over the last few weeks -- scurrilous rumors, really bad overtold jokes, wild plastic surgery speculation, borderline-slanderous Photoshops -- this one has to rank right up there: he's been replaced by an elephant. And not just any elephant, mind you: a surfing one. Wacky!
Accenture, one of the first companies to cut ties with Tiger Post-Hydrant, decided that Tiger no longer represented the best of its "High Performance" ad campaign. (Personally, I think the fact that he kept all this going while still winning majors is "high performance" at a level beyond which most of us could comprehend, but I get where they're coming from.)
Accenture had yoked Tiger to a bunch of slogans designed to provide momentary inspiration to weary travelers plodding through airports. (Aside: anybody grab one of those airport ads? I'd love to have one on my wall.) But after the accident and the revelations of infidelity, Accenture's slogans took on new, unexpected meanings: "Go on, be a Tiger" ( ... just don't tell your wife); "The road to success is not always paved" ( ... and beware of fire hydrants), and so on.
Thus, we now have animals taking Tiger's place, symbolizing determination by working their way through precarious situations. One ad features three frogs leapfrogging over one another; the other, pictured above, features an elephant in a highly improbable setting: surfing. What's next, a ferret on a trapeze?
So that's where we're at post-Tiger -- goofy animal ads. That's all well and good. But if that elephant tees it up at Augusta, then we may have a real problem on our hands.