Super Bowl Ads: A Fight to the Finish

by | February 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM | TV News

Tim Tebow (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

It’s Super Bowl time again, which means high anticipation – followed by the annual let down – over the precious, 30-second spots for which companies will pay $2.5 million in an effort to be the most talked about commercial on Monday morning.

But this year, the let down is coming early, because the buzz is already high for one particular ad that will air Sunday, and another that will not see the light of LCD and plasma screens across the land.

Conservative group Focus on the Family is causing the early stir with an ad featuring Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother pushing an anti-abortion agenda. CBS accepted the ad and the $2.5 million that came with it, and it will air on Sunday, although the network has not revealed what is in the ad or at what point during the game it will air.

A message to anyone looking to push a political agenda during the Super Bowl: Get over yourself.

In a political climate that is already as divisive as most people remember, why ruin one rare day of the year when we can all be united in the enjoyment of whatever aspect of the day you enjoy most?

Super Bowl Sunday is a day to be free of important worries, and focus on questions such as “Should I have another cheeseburger?” or “Why did they run the ball on third-and-8?” or “Should The Who be allowed to perform in public any longer?”

Who wins if the event becomes just another forum for making political points? Wouldn’t we rather spend the day considering “Saints or Colts,” instead of pro-choice or pro-life?

The simple act of handing over $2.5 million in order to have a soapbox to stand on for 30 seconds is incredibly wasteful and selfish, regardless of which side of the issue you’re on. CBS used to refuse ads that were polarizing, especially around the Super Bowl, but it has changed it’s position this time.

At time same time, CBS has rejected an ad from a gay dating Web site called ManCrunch.com. The network claims the spot didn’t meet its broadcasting standards. Translation: They don’t want to show two dudes kissing on TV.

Fair enough. It’s insanely hypocritical, but it’s their network.

But at least ManCrunch.com is selling a product. The money the company would have spent on its ad, it hoped, would have resulted in increased business, which would have put money back into the economy, and that’s the American way.

Instead, CBS has accepted $2.5 million from a group that is seeling nothing and speaking directly to people who already agree with it. In the process, they’ve and created yet another reason for “red staters” and “blue staters” to scowl at each other on a day that should be about hanging out with friends and family, and waiting to see what the Budweiser Clydesdales or the CareerBuilder.com chimpanzees are going to do.

This isn’t a call to quell free speech or block any group’s right to advocate its point of view. It’s a plea to folks on all sides to temper their own inflated sense of importance and keep their political views out of Super Bowl Sunday.

Instead, focus on Election Day.