January 29, 2010
Are you ready for some football... ads... controversy?
Posted by: Chris
Remember when the Superbowl was just a football game? Well it got too big for its britches years ago, and the hype over the commercials aired during the game, not to mention its halftime shows, got more attention than the action on the gridiron. This year is no different, as savvy marketers have figured out that merely submitting an ad to air during next Sunday's broadcast guarantees priceless free media exposure.
You've probably already heard about the antigay group Focus on the Family, which convinced Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of the University of Florida to record an advocacy ad about abortion that makes the unremarkable claim that he's glad his mother didn't get one.
The Tebow ad hasn't been released yet. Leave it to FOF to blow the marketing piece and miss out on all the free publicity the ad could have gotten by showing it early. But you can see an ABC News report about the ad, complete with coverage of the Bible verses Tebow paints under his eyes before each game, after the jump.
Abortion rights groups have responded with understandable outrage, since that's the only permissible emotion in that particular debate, but I think Tebow's message is actually rather unifying. Can't all of us unaborted fetuses agree at least that we're glad Mom didn't have us yanked from the uterus?
Rather than complain, NARAL et al should record their own spot, letting some rival athlete speak up on behalf of really fast sperm, and say how appreciative he is that he was faster than the other sperm that raced toward his mama's unfertilized egg. It would be about as relevant to the political debate as the Tebow ad.
Then there are the gay ads already rejected by CBS. First, this commercial by website host GoDaddy.com (used by your's truly over the years) was turned down apparently for its use of effeminate gay stereotypes:
Company CEO Bob Parsons said he was surprised the ad was rejected, considering the racy content of the GoDaddy's other submissions. "Of the five commercial concepts we submitted for approval this year, this never would've been my pick for the one that would not be approved," Parson said. "I just don't think 'Lola' is offensive." I would agree actually; it's just unfunny.
Speaking of unoriginal and not particularly funny, an ad featuring two macho football fans discovering (shock!) that they're into each other was also apparently rejected by CBS, which told gay dating site Mancrunch (who?) that the broadcast was already sold out.
"It's clearly a form of discrimination that we're getting the runaround, that we're not being told the truth," said Mancrunch spokesman Dominic Friesen. "Quite frankly, there is a lot of ad space available -- a lot of the companies that typically advertise during the Super Bowl are not advertising this year." Take a look:
The content is about as original as the site's name, and I'd bet the $3 million cost of airing the spot that Mancrunch didn't have the bucks and is simply riding the free publicity. No harm in that, except the whining they're doing about antigay discrimination only makes the public less sympathetic to legitimate claims down the road
The Mancrunch ad is about as original as the site's name, and I'd bet the $3 million cost of airing the spot that Mancrunch didn't have the bucks and is simply riding the free publicity. No harm in that, except the whining they're doing about antigay discrimination only makes the public less sympathetic to legitimate claims down the road.
Despite all the hubbub, I still can't wait for the game. Who dat is gonna be playing anyway?
Here's the ABC News report on the Tim Tebow ad:
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