The much-discussed, “controversial” Focus on the Family ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, has aired during CBS’ pre-game Super Bowl show. Here it is:

Pam Tebow talks about how Tim is “her miracle baby,” as the result of a difficult birth. Tim Tebow joins his mother at the end and hugs his mom. The ad concludes with a printed message, “For the full Tebow story,” go to the website for the ad’s sponsor, Focus on the Family. There’s also an invitation to “celebrate life.” Does this strike you as particularly controversial, other than its context as a famous athlete aligning himself with a cause he believes in?

And now here’s the other version, that aired during the game, with a slapstick punchline:

Tim’s tackles Mom; well, not hilarious, but kind of sweet… and even more distracting from whatever serious message Focus on the Family may want to convey. I think the group considers it a touchdown as long as people go to its website and take in its philosophy.

Indeed, I think what we’re seeing here is FF backing away from a more aggressive statement in order to get its spots on CBS’ air. The result is classic bad advertising: The personalities on display distract from the message this deeply conservative organization wants to spread.

The Tebow ad had been assumed to be a pro-life, anti-choice production. Planned Parenthood has already released a counter-ad:

What is controversial is CBS’ decision to air the Focus on the Family ad but to reject one from the gay dating service No matter how benignly phrased the Tebow ad is, it’s advertising for a conservative organization, as opposed to the rejected ad, with its presumed liberal politics:

It’s being reported that a different or longer Tebow ad will air during the Super Bowl game. When that’s available, it will be posted here as well, and I’ll discuss the controversy with you.

In the meantime, what do you think of the Tebow controversy?

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