On Hooks and MacGuffins

Sometimes the commercial is the thing, and sometimes it’s just a hook — something to get your attention, get you interested.  It’s different from just spitting on the table in that there’s usually more behind it then attention, that is, the hook is just the beginning, you’re trying to get attention to eventually drive that motivation to someplace.

There was a lot of controversy over this commercial and CBS’s decision to run it, after rejecting other political messages. All that attention just played into Focus for the Family’s hands, they used Tim Tebow and the Super Bowl as a hook.  Had this ad run almost any other time it would have gotten some notice, but would be deemed innocuous enough.

The ad is pretty simple, with Tebow’s mother telling a story, how Tim was her “miracle baby” and she still worries about him.  The tackle part is down right stupid, it just doesn’t work — it’s the wrong tone for this spot, and feels more like it belonged in a beer commercial or a snickers commercial (which I guess is genre appropriate for most Super Bowl ads).

There no mention of choice or abortion, though all the earned (free) media filled in the details of her story for Focus on the Family.  That’s the genius of this Focus’ plan, the attention they got drove the story, at the end of the day, the ad was just a MacGuffen.

This ad served its purpose, but ultimately the ad itself wasn’t very important, but it worked anyway.

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