April 8, 2010— -- The producers of a controversial Nike ad in which Tiger Woods' father seems to be lecturing the golfer from beyond the grave, selectively spliced audio from a 2004 interview, in which Earl Woods was talking not about Tiger but about his wife Kultida instead.
The 33-second commercial, created by the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, aired Wednesday on the eve of Tiger's return to professional golf today at the Masters, and evokes an imagined conversation between the golfer and his dead father presumably addressing the sex scandal that derailed the golfer's career for five months.
The voice of Earl Woods, who died in 2006 and put a golf club in his son's hand at age 2, intones over a single black-and-white shot of Tiger staring directly into the camera.
"Tiger," Earl Woods says in the commercial, seemingly speaking directly to the golfer. "I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?"
In the original sound bite from "Tiger: The Authorized DVD Collection," distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Earl Woods, however, does not use Tiger's name. In the original context, Earl was not talking to Woods, but about the golfer's mother Kultida.
In the documentary, Woods compares the personalities of his two parents. His father, he says, is "steely cold, icy, never gets emotional" and his mother is "more fiery, more of an extrovert."
The documentary then cuts to Earl Woods, then 72 and already showing the ravages of prostate cancer, talking about Kultida "Tida" Woods, his Thailand-born wife and Tiger's mother.
Earl's full quote in the film is: "Authoritarian. Yea, Tida is very authoritative. She is very definitive. 'Yes' and 'No.' I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what you're thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are and did you learn anything?"
Earl then adds, "So, we were two different types but we co-existed pretty well."
Tiger Ad Cribs From 2004 Documentary
The commercial is the first new piece of advertising to feature Woods since the golfer went underground last November, taking a leave of absence from golf in the wake of a spiraling sex scandal that cost him many of his biggest sponsors.
Larry D. Woodard, president and CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising and an ABC News.com columnist, said it was highly unlikely that Woods or his management team would have pitched the idea to Nike, and likely was originated by the ad agency.
"I'm basically a100 percent sure it was the ad agency going to Tiger with the idea. An endorser doesn't go to the company," Woodard said.
"These things don't happen overnight," Woodard said from Augusta National, where the Masters kicked off today. "They are carefully orchestrated and planned way in advance."