Focus on the Family joins Super Bowl advertisers

Focus on the Family joins Super Bowl advertisers
By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/16/2010 01:00:00 AM MST

In between the Dr Pepper, Doritos and Bud Light commercials airing during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, one first-time advertiser will be pushing God’s product line.

Focus on the Family will air a 30-second “life- and family-affirming” television spot, featuring University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, during the coverage.

The Colorado Springs-based media ministry shot the ad with the Tebows on Tuesday in Orlando, Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said Friday. It is set to air before and again during the CBS broadcast of the football championship from Dolphin Stadium near Miami.

Tebow and his mother will share one of their many positive personal stories, Schneeberger said, but he wouldn’t reveal which one. One contender is Pam Tebow’s decision to carry her son to term despite a life-threatening pregnancy in the Philippines, where she and her husband, Bob, were serving as Christian missionaries.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, also known for being home-schooled, winning an NCAA championship and wearing Bible-verse citations inscribed on his game-day eye black, agreed to appear in the ad because the issue of life is one he and his family feel strongly about, Schneeberger said.

Schneeberger wouldn’t say how much it cost to make the ad or the price of air time. However, TNS Media Intelligence reported Monday that 30-second Super Bowl commercial slots, which will reach an estimated 100 million viewers, are selling for $2.5 million to $2.8 million, down from last year’s record price on NBC of $3 million.

Declining donations at Focus on the Family have forced the ministry to eliminate more than 275 jobs in recent years. However, Schneeberger said, the money for the Super Bowl ad is not coming out of the ministry’s general fund.

“Every cent for this ad was paid for by generous donors who specifically gave for this project because they are excited about this opportunity for Focus to show who we are and what we do,” Schneeberger said.

Jim Daly, Focus on the Family president and chief executive, said in a statement that the Tebows’ message about family comes at the right moment in the culture because “families need to be inspired.”

“Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,” Daly said. “Focus on the Family is about . . . strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values.”

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