What can you buy with $2.5 million? 30-seconds of television time during the Super Bowl with millions of American eyes watching—and that’s it. The coveted time slots are usually filled by the regulars: Beer, Sex and Junk Food, but this year, things could be different.
“Focus on the Family will broadcast the first Super Bowl ad in its history” according to Focus’ Jan. 15 press release. The star of its commercial? Tim Tebow.
The Gator’s shining star will appear with his mother, Pam, to share a personal story with the theme, “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
According to a NYT’s article last week, “issue ads are rare during Super Bowls, partly because almost all the time is bought by marketers of consumer products.”
The topic of the commercial is different from the few issue ads that ran in previous years because it sends a pro-family and pro-life message. Mrs. Tebow chose life against her doctor’s advice to abort Timmy, her personal decision is now becoming a national controversy.
The Women’s Media Center sent a protest letter to CBS arguing that CBS should have dropped the ad simply because it was bought for by Focus on the Family. The letter states:
“By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers,” according to Char-O’s coverage of the letter.
But when CBS chooses to air half-dressed women wrestling in mud to sell beer that doesn’t alienate viewers. Or, when “wardrobe” malfunctions happen on national TV to an audience with children, viewers aren’t discouraged from supporting CBS. Sounds like this is a case of “free speech” for me and “no speech” for you.
Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, said CBS officials closely examined Focus on the Family’s history and found no reason to reject the ad.
“We understand that some people don’t think very highly of what we do,” Schneeberger said. “We’re not trying to sell you a soft drink – we’re not selling anything. We’re trying to celebrate families.”
And that’s the message athletes should be celebrating—family drove you to your first game, sat on a cold bench and screamed your name above the other moms in the crowd. It’s about time to say thank you.