Super Bowl ad winners: Tebow soft-sell PR campaign and screaming chickens

Hands-down the best Super Bowl commercial was the Tebow mother and son soft-sell, where the advance PR hullabaloo delivered the anti-abortion message, leaving the TV-spot, an advocacy theme flag-planting placed at a celebrated cost of three million dollars, to ice the cake. Only its detractors would find the final 30-second message anticlimactic. The “Tebow Ad” was a month long campaign. Count ABC and the NFL also big winners, whose commercial breaks were watched more closely because of the Tebow hoopla, especially lookouts anticipating a multiple Tebow spot. Sunday’s ads might have been scrutinized more than the game itself. Second place goes to the Denny’s Grand Slam screaming chicken spots, with another ad-world sophistication, piggybacking on the Tebow jitters with a spot that began with lighting a birthday cake, a Tebow feint, interrupted by the now-recurring alarmed chicken.

Focus on the Family’s brilliant move, orchestrated obviously by Madison Avenue talent and choreographed over the range of traditional advertising mediums –PR, editorials, activists– illustrates further what would-be social message advocates are up against when denied ad placement by the networks. Adbusters has sued the US networks for forbidding an anti-consumer spot. Could they have advanced an inoffensive and surrounded it with a meatier media debate? More and more it requires the collusion with the editorial bosses. Each successive Yes Men action has met with an ever tightening controlled response.

Media pundits are calling wins for the usual Budweiser and Dorito ads. Based on TiVo results. Bet you didn’t know those machines were returning the logs of your viewing habits in shorter than 30 second increments…

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