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Tim Tebow Ad
What was all that Fuss About?

By Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D
Director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society


Was the Tim Tebow ad worth the enormous controversy it generated? I watched the Super Bowl because I wanted to see the Tim Tebow ad. The ad had been advertised as a controversial piece of propaganda promoting the prolife agenda. Well, I must have missed this "promotion".

The ad didn't seem to me to be about a mom's decision to choose life for her unborn child under difficult circumstances? Unless you knew the Tebow story and knew that the producers of the ad were pro-life--you would have no idea that the supposed issue of this ad was the choice to give life, rather than a choice to abort. Actually, the ad's script makes it sound like Tim Tebow had post-natal health issues--not that his mother was encouraged to abort him. That's the impression I got from the line where Tebow's mom says: "I can remember so many times when I almost lost him."

I am disappointed, and feel that pro-lifers were sucked into a controversy that really wasn't there. Maybe the real controversy is that an anti-abortion group was permitted to be heard for 30 seconds (as long as their ad was not too provocative) during the Super Bowl, where there was an audience of 106.5 million viewers. If we judge the ad on its own merits--it is not an anti-abortion ad. This is not to say that it is a bad ad-- it's just that the ad itself-- the very ad that actually aired on nationwide TV coast to coast, watched by millions during a Super Bowl, was not an ad that focused on the pro-life issue--or in any way drew attention to that issu


Now--that said--- are there any benefits from the Tebow ad?
Yes, and here they are:

  1. Pre-Super Bowl Hype
    Even though the ad that actually aired was not focused on the pro-life or abortion issue-the very fact that pro-abortion people made a stink about it in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, was a plus for the pro-life movement. The threat that a pro-life commercial was to air during the Super Bowl caused millions of people to focus on the abortion issue--and the pro-abortionists looked foolish, narrow-minded, paranoid and ridiculous. Now that the real ad has aired--and the abortion issue was never addressed--the pro-abortionists look even more ridiculous.
  2. Full Story on Tebow
    I am willing to grant that the ad had a very very very subtle pro-life subtext-- too subtle to be called a real pro-life commercial-- but it is possible that some who viewed the ad may actually check out the Focus on the Family website and read the full story about Tim Tebow. I may be wrong here-- but I cannot imagine that all that many people will do so-- but some may-- perhaps thousands out of the 60 million or so who watched the Super Bowl--but the commercial just wasn't compelling or provocative enough to inspire anyone to be especially motivated to check out the full story--unless they're a big Tim Tebow fan. I hope I am wrong here--after-all the ad cost $2.5 million dollars!
  3. More Ads Will Follow
    Emboldened by the Focus on the Family success, perhaps more pro-lifers will attempt to break through the pro-death camps grip on the mainstream media. At least CBS was willing to take an ad from a pro-life group and air it despite the vehement pre-airing opposition. Perhaps, in the future, an ad with an obvious pro-life message will make it into prime time. Something new did happen here. Focus on the Family can take the credit for being the first. Will they be the last? Let's hope not!

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