Since I first heard that CBS is going to air an anti-abortioncommercial during the Superbowl, I've been trying to find a way to explain why this pisses me off. On any normal day I don't particularly care if a network runs paid advertisements on political hot-button issues, whether I agree with the point of view in that commercial or not. Heck, when I lived in Minnesota for the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, Minnesota was considered a "swing-state" and I saw more than my fair share of soap-box type commercials, from both sides. I don't particularly enjoy them, but I deal. If this commercial were running any other time, I likely wouldn't bat an eye, nor would anyone else.
Is it unfair that CBS is accepting this ad, while they turned away a more liberal-leaning ad in 2004 because of their policy "prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an 'implicit' endorsement for a side in a public debate"? Yes, I think it is. And that is the main reason, as I understand it, that my wife and others are choosing to not watch the Superbowl this year. But that isn't what makes me grind my teeth over this.
Me? I'm just mad they are throwing politics into something that in my mind should be politics free. The biggest thing I want to debate that day is who should be the MVP, or which commercial was the funniest.
There is an awesome post about this on a (not safe for work) blog that I read that you can see here. (Seriously, don't go there at work though, it is a sex/sex-toy related site.) (Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Sorry about that link.)
For convenience, here are parts of that post that I find myself nodding at the most:
Hey Gary and CBS advertising execs – here are some thoughts to chew on:
On Super Bowl Sunday, I want to watch funny commercials and a fucking football game.
Correction: my boyfriend wants to watch funny commercials and a fucking football game while I cook up something delightful in the kitchen and run in when a funny commercial airs.
Some dudes spend the entire year planning their Super Bowl party – do you really think they want to hear about abortion between downs and dips in the chili con queso?
There is NO ONE who tunes into the Super Bowl to hear “a story about love between a mother and a son.” They tune in to watch football, for the ritual, hang with friends, drink a shitload of beer and fart in a room so full of people that no one notices.
I’m disappointed simply in the poor marketing decision made by FOTF and the equally polarizing decision made by CBS. At $2.5 million a pop for Super Bowl ad time, wouldn’t their ad met with less resistance, more acceptance and reach a more tractable audience had they chosen a prime time network show with an agreeable viewing demographic? If you’re looking to drive brand or message affinity, why do it in a way that you’re going to piss off the most people possible during an event meant to unite, not divide? And CBS – you’ve finally come out of your discretionary shell, pimping one side of the God ride on this one. If I were another advertiser on this year’s Super Bowl Sunday, I’d be pissed. No one’s even going to watch my ad. They’re going to be waiting for the God Bomb. If I were Anheuser Busch, I’d be digging through my advertising agreement and telling CBS to get fucked in a very out-of-wedlock way.
Do I care if Tim Tebow’s mom had an abortion or not? NO.
Do I care if he’s a kickass football player? NO.
Am I “offended” by the ad (seen or unseen)? A preemptive NO.
Does Tim Tebow’s presence in this world make my life better? NO.
Am I disappointed by the choice of a network to interrupt my upcoming Sunday filled with more junk food and camaraderie than you can shake a stick at by dropping the abortion elephant in the middle of my fucking living room? YES.
Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com: “If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year. It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, or against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Bowl Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”