I don’t care what you believe. Not when it comes to politics. Not when it comes to religion. Not when it comes to the issue of abortion. Not even when it comes to the issue of what color you should paint your house. You can vote, worship, abort or not – AND paint your house any damn color you want to. I don’t want to debate it, I respect your right to think and do and be (and paint) whatever it is that you are or like. Unless of course you’re mean, nasty or bent on doing something bad to other people. Then, I’ll debate you all day long and maybe even kick you in the shins.
I know that not everyone agrees with my stance on this, and that’s totally cool. But I’m a live and let live kind of gal. You do your thing, let me do mine, and let’s respect one another and our differences.
But CBS and this Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad business is making me crazy. I’ll admit it. I can think of little else. You see, here’s the deal. The Super Bowl, while it may not be the thing I live for all year long, it’s a traditional kind of thing with us Americans. Super Bowl Sunday. Beer, nachos, guys getting all crazy and frothy at the mouth, chicks acting like they care – it’s a special day.
And, being in the ad business, there’s always been a sense of anticipation and perverse fascination about which brands are going to produce stellar Super Bowl spots, and which ones are going to fail miserably. In fact, I’ll admit to being just geeky enough to mostly watching the game to see those aforementioned spots.
Along came Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family and ruined my day before it even started. I’m aghast. Appalled. Astonished. Repulsed. Madder than hell. You get my drift. What is CBS thinking? Since when is it appropriate on national TV to air spots as controversial as this one? Never mind during the Super Bowl. Seriously. I mean, we’ve still got Janet Jackson and Nipplegate burned into our memory banks here and they’re letting this craziness happen??
My friend Erika Napoletano, the genius behind Redheadwriting wrote an insightful, well-researched piece on this very topic, in her inimitable way, which I happen to adore. While her style is not for everyone (especially not for the timid) and she absolutely pulls no punches, the points she makes are so worth reading that you should stop right this minute and go read her article. Even if you disagree with her, her prose will still make you think. And that’s what the best written pieces do, you know. Words are art. In fact, they are magic. When used properly, they stir your emotions and make you think. And I can promise you, Erika’s words will make you think. Mosey over and have a read and come back if you like. I’m not going anywhere.
I mean, really, can you imagine CBS airing a spot focusing on support for gay marriage during the Super Bowl? C’mon. It was only down the road a piece, in 2004, that CBS declined an ad by the United Church of Christ, welcoming gays and others who were perhaps feeling snubbed by more conservative churches. Hmmm. So, it’s a “No-way, Jose” to those good-for-nothing gays but a scant few years later and here they are, that self-same network saying a big, fat “Yes” to pro-lifers. Something smells rotten in Denmark. Major TV networks, including CBS, have typically avoided these kinds of subjects – and for good reason. Is it just about the money? And, if so, does that make it alright?
I think we’ve got ourselves a controversy. According to today’s Mashable article, thus far, some 48,000+ (dare I say “misguided”?) people have joined Support Tebow’s Super Bowl Ad fan page, a joint project of Americans United for Life Action and LifeNews.com. And there’s scads of folks just like me, blogging, Facebook ranting and making Twitter posts like crazy, denouncing CBS and shaking our collective heads at their lunacy.
But here’s my question to you, dear reader: Is it really a good idea for CBS, no matter how much the network wants and needs the money, to go down this path? I say no. In fact, I stand up and shout as loudly as I can – “Really, really bad idea.” For all of the above reasons, coupled with what is perhaps the biggest one – it’s just not appropriate. I, and most other people in their right minds, don’t want to hear or see spots about abortion, pro or con on Super Bowl Sunday, any more than we want to see spots about healthcare reform, some ridiculous political candidate pleading for support, or whether gays should or should not be allowed to marry and so on. It’s just not appropriate on what is perhaps the biggest, most exciting day for sports in our country, never mind the largest TV audience of the year, to bring divisive issues like this to the fore and, more importantly, to only show one side of the issue.
I want to see a damn football game. And hang out with friends. Drink beer, eat nachos, watch the game (intermittently) and the spots (with freakish fascination followed by arm chair creative director-esque critiques). And this whole thing kind of makes me have a little mouth vomit when I think about CBS. Which is too bad, because I love Harry and Maggie and the crew in the morning. And I tolerate Katie at night. Sometimes. But the fact that the powers-that-be at the network think that this kind of advertising in this kind of venue is a good thing bugs the heck out of me. And the fact that they might just be in it for the money doesn’t make it any better.
What about you? Does the whole thing bug you at all or am I just crazy? What do you think? I really want to know.