.- Gary Schneeberger, Vice President of Media Relations at Focus on the Family, has said his organizationâs Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mother was âvery directly pro-lifeâ and has proven âextremely popular.â
The Super Bowl ad showed University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, who spoke about her love for her son and how he âalmost didnât make it into the world.â
While Pam Tebow had refused doctorsâ advice to abort her unborn son during a life-threatening condition, abortion was not mentioned in the advertisement, which directed viewers to the Focus on the Family website.
Schneeberger spoke about the Tebowsâ ad in a Tuesday phone interview with CNA.
Asked to describe the impact of the Super Bowl advertising spots, he responded that the ad has become âextremely popularâ and people generally recognize that the advertising was about âcelebrating family and celebrating life.â
âIt wasnât political, it wasnât anti-anything. It wasnât controversial.
âWe told people the truth. It was about a mother and son who love each other.â
He told CNA that viewers have watched the ad 305,000 times on the Focus on the Family website. The full interview, an eight-minute clip in which the Tebows tell the longer story of Timâs birth, received over 760,000 viewers on Sunday and Monday alone.
The Focus on the Family website has also witnessed a twenty-fold increase in activity.
Schneeberger told CNA his organization expects the numbers to climb because of continued publicity.
The ads were a âgreat investmentâ for Focus on the Family because it provided a national opportunity to talk about âthe sanctity of life, the importance of celebrating life, and celebrating family.â
âWeâve developed now all these potential new relationships with people who hopefully will reach out to Focus on the Family when they encounter life challenges.â
He said the organization provides âhelp and hopeâ to those suffering marriage problems, parenting issues, or unplanned pregnancies.
CNA noted that some observers have called the ad âanti-climacticâ and asked whether the run-up to the adâs broadcast was misleading.
âWe never said anything other than that it was an inspiring story about celebrating family and celebrating life,â Schneeberger commented. âThe controversy came up because some groups who had not seen the ad decided to protest it.â
âIf it was anti-climactic, itâs not because we built up expectations,â he continued, crediting Focus on the Familyâs ideological opponents for the claim the ad would contain political advocacy.
Asked whether the adâs pro-life message was unclear, Schneeberger explained the campaign had two parts: the Super Bowl commercial and the longer video on the Focus on the Family website.
In the commercial Pam Tebow described her son as a âmiracle babyâ and in the video his birth was described as being âa God story.â
âTaken together I donât know how anybody could see the ad and the video as anything but very unapologetically, very directly pro-life.â