Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tebow TV

A 34-second TV add with no argument, which was difficult to follow (I had to watch it twice on YouTube to even understand it), with a slapstick, tasteless, cartoon-like scene as a climax was deemed controversial as a "pro-life message." There was hardly any message in the sense of cognitive or even aesthetic content. I suppose the back story was significant, but that is something I know little about, hating football as I do.

Over a hundred million watched this and it cost millions to air it. To what end? I am simply asking you to consider the form of the media event and what purpose it might serve. What else could be done with the millions it cost to air?


pennoyer said...

Sometimes I must admit I don't quite understand you Dr. G, and here is another instance involving your two great loves: TV and Football (sarcasm).

Wasn't the point of the ad to send people to the relevant place on the Focus on the Family web site? That is where people can, apparently, get more than 30 seconds of the Tebow story and find substantial pro-life resources. Did you visit the site? Does that make the spot more effective? - Ray

jdawg said...

fortunately, lots of the rest of the US does love football and surfing the internet, and since all the hype was created before even airing it, the hope must be that it will be researched even as the godaddy.com commercials were.
ah, a culture created by media and hype.

Paul D. Adams said...

"What else could be done with the millions it cost to air?"

One word: H-A-I-T-I

Michael Thompson said...

I agree with the post. With anticipation we watched the ad, considered it juvenile, and sat bewildered on where the 'message' was. If the intent was to get people to a website, then it was a wasted opportunity to speak in the public forum.

(After the initial viewing, I conceded that Focus on the Family perhaps pulled back the ad from its original form because of the controversy. And I wouldn't necessarily fault them for this since the media blowup already happened. But, 1) this is not the case; 2) if it was, it was pulled back way too much.)

They had the timeslot, they had the audience, they had THE only audience that intently watches the commercials, and they had the audience intently watching for what this commercial would say. Even though it was a football game, the appropriate metaphor is that they balked.

-Michael Thompson

Jon said...

I agree that the commercial was hard to follow. The only thing I got out of it was Tebow's mom...is Tebow's mom? Maybe the idea was to get people to go to the website to figure out what the commercial was supposed to be about!

ChrisB said...

I think the point of the ad was the controversy. Combined with the actual ad, the controversy was intended to get people to the website, which can tell much more than anyone could in a 30 second ad.

And it made the pro-choicers look silly.

iBond said...

It was a "teaser" meant to get people to go to Focus on the Family's website. From what I'm hearing, it worked. If you go to alexa.com which tracks web info, you'll see a huge spike in web traffic on Feb. 7th. Here's the link: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/www.fotf.org?p=tgraph&r=home_home

Also, the amount of press it received leading up to the Super Bowl was amazing. Literally hours were spent by various news organizations discussing this issue--panels on MSNBC, Fox, CNN--and this was all "free" press for Focus on the Family. They might have spent $3 million for 34 seconds, but they literally got hours and hours of press from it. Not a bad deal for $3 million. And I would guess that Focus received at least an additional $3 million in donations, if not more, from all the press it got and people wanting to support Focus in its Pro-Life efforts and for taking such a stand.

And what made the whole thing even better is that the Pro-choicers were jumping up and down, screaming that CBS shouldn't allow this. And yet the commercial wasn't controversial at all (if it was CBS likely wouldn't have aired it). So it sort of made them look silly and unreasonable. Who could object to such a commercial?

And you're right, some people probably didn't get it. But football fans know the name Tim Tebow, and the commercial was meant to tease them to grab their smart phones and go to the website to learn the whole story about this player they already knew about.

Steve Moore said...

Focus realizes it has come across over the years as harsh and unloving as it has fought the culture wars. In response the pendulum appears to have swung back hard the other direction. It also appears CBS would not have run an edgy ad.

Personally, I thought it was a teaser ad and that the ending would come later. It never did. Like most of you, I was underwhelmed. But of course it was not targeted at us. While I have not been Focus greatest fan of late, for the reasons they cite, looking back I surprise myself and give them an A+ for trying. I am touched with the fact people gave bunches of money specifically to run the ad, their heart's desire to change the heart of the nation for the least of these.

Perhaps his Mom's story of choosing life (in Christ) will have a stronger hold, via the link, as well if we enter into the discussion as kind, gentle advocates of life. Of course many of you already do, the Curmudgeon in particular.

Wintery Knight said...

I agree with this. FOTF may be going in a different direction with Daly at the helm. I like Dobson better.

I read this to find out about Daly:

Wintery Knight said...

Ooops. This is the article that mentions Daly...


It says:

"Mr. Daly said he preferred to build bridges with others. While Mr. Dobson blasted President Barack Obama for “fruitcake” ideas, Mr. Daly praised the president for his devotion to family and last summer attended a White House event celebrating fatherhood. On abortion, Mr. Daly said he wouldn't spend much energy fighting for a ban—though that remained his ultimate goal—but would emphasize adoption.


Mr. Daly said he would reinvigorate the organization's central mission—“helping marriages, helping parents”—which he said had been overshadowed by Mr. Dobson's activism."

That may be why focus spent so much money on an ad that says nothing persuasive.