Colorado Springs' Focus on the Family made a big splash earlier this year with a pro-life Super Bowl ad starring Tim Tebow and his mom. And while the publicity generated by the spot couldn't prevent 110 layoffs announced earlier this month, Focus learned that the NFL audience makes for a nice target -- and it hopes to hit the spot again with a season-long ad buy for Broncos games.
Will any star Tebow?
Nope. "Knowing what we all know about Tim and his work ethic and his desire to improve as an NFL-caliber quarterback, I think he has other stuff on his mind than what Focus on the Family might be advertising on Sundays," says FOTF spokesman Gary Schneeberger. Nor does Schneeberger directly equate the campaign to Tebow's presence on the Broncos' roster -- although he concedes that it doesn't hurt.
"The fact that he's with the Broncos is a bonus," Schneeberger says about Tebow, who's not exactly shy about sharing his deeply felt Christian beliefs. "We have great respect for him and his family, and it's deepened Broncos fandom for people here who are already Broncos fans." As for Schneeberger, who grew up a diehard Green Bay Packers booster, even he's invested in a Tebow jersey.
What other factors motivated the buy, which covers preseason and regular season contests broadcast on Channel 4?
"It's really a continuation of the brand-awareness campaign that we launched during the Super Bowl," he maintains. "What we found with that experience was that lots of families watch football together. And it seemed like a really logical extension for us, since the Broncos are our neighbors, to continue that brand awareness campaign through the medium of football, and to do it through the Broncos."
Focus will raise money specifically for the campaign, mirroring the approach used with the Tebow spot. Thus far, Schneeberger's not sharing details about the spots' content beyond pointing out that a couple of commercials have been produced thus far, with more to follow as the season continues.
To those who wonder about the wisdom of Focus buying more TV ads shortly after laying off so many folks, Schneeberger says, "I did some very cursory Internet research and discovered that in the last twelve months, the list of companies that have had workforce reductions includes Nike, Walt Disney, Microsoft, GE, Proctor and Gamble, Fed Ex, WalMart, Allstate, Spring, Best Buy, Home Depot, Target and CBS," Channel 4's parent. "And in those cases, people don't seem surprised that they're still advertising. They still need to build brand awareness during challenging times. In fact, it might be even more important.
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"Here at Focus, it's a family activity for us to watch Broncos games," he adds. "And this season, we're going to be getting in front of a lot of other families, letting them know about the help we offer regarding marriage and families and walking out your faith with boldness."
Page down to see the original Tebow commercial: