Perhaps the ads from Focus on the Family featuring Pam Tebow and her son Tim act as a sort of Rorshach test for some people. Where most viewers would see the ads as playful, light, and welcoming, some see them as a threat — and maybe some don’t see them at all outside of their preconceived notions. Power Line notices that the Associated Press misreports the content of the two ads:
But not every commercial was strictly humorous. Automaker Toyota aired several pregame ads to reassure worried owners after its recalls connected with accelerator problems.
And a commercial by conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, perhaps the most anticipated ad of the night, hinted at a serious subject although it took a humorous tone too. Heisman winner Tim Tebow and his mother talk about her difficult pregnancy with him and how she was advised to end the pregnancy—implying an antiabortion message—but ended with Tebow tackling his mom and saying the family must be “tough.”
Er, not exactly. First, nowhere in either commercial does Pam Tebow talk about being advised to end her pregnancy. She only mentions that she almost “lost” Tim. The “implication of an anti-abortion message”, at least as described above, actually never appears in either ad. Further, Tim Tebow does not say “the family must be tough,” but Pam who teases her son about her concern that he’s not as tough as she is. Tim Tebow doesn’t talk about the pregnancy at all.
At least the AP got the tackle correct.
Now, considering that perhaps 100 million people in the US watched the game and the commercials last night, why couldn’t the AP have watched it and gotten the story right? Perhaps they wrote the story before the game, or perhaps they just watched it through the prism of their own biases.
Update: YouTube’s AdBlitz channel has a poll asking viewers to select their favorite Super Bowl ad, but it doesn’t include the Tebow ads. AdBlitz does have a way for advertisers to enter their ads, so it may just be that Focus on the Family hasn’t done so, or at least not yet. The Dodge Charger ad isn’t there, either.