The best unseen Super Bowl advertisement
Yes, the game was great, but who won the other coveted title on Super Bowl Sunday — that of Best Commercial? According to one vote, sponsored by USA Today, the favorite was a fan-made ad about “free Doritos” being seen in a “crystal ball.” Coming in second was a Budweiser commercial showing a love affair between a Clydesdale and a dancing horse. Third was a promotion of The Catholic Post’s current subscription drive featuring Bishop Jenky and Pope Benedict XVI.
OK, we made that last one up.
But while viewers talk at office water coolers about their own favorites, we believe there is a clear winner in the category “Best unseen Super Bowl ad.” And no, it wasn’t a sexually charged “Veggie Love” spot by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that got a flurry of attention after it was turned down by NBC.
A 30-second commercial we wish the nation would have seen was an uplifting, positive pro-life ad produced by the group CatholicVote.org. It’s certainly worth an online visit to their Web site or YouTube to view.
The ad opens with an ultrasound image of an unborn child wiggling in the womb. As the image moves closer, titles flash saying “This child’s future is a broken home,” then “He will be abandoned by his father,” and “His single mother will struggle to raise him.” The spot continues with the text “Despite the hardships he will endure . . . this child . . . will become . . .
“. . . the 1st African-American President.”
It closes with cheering crowds, a waving President Barack Obama, and the tagline: “Life: Imagine the Potential.”
NBC refused the ad, saying neither the network nor the NFL are interested in advertisements involving “political advocacy or issues.” Maybe that was the best thing for CatholicVote.org, since it saved them the $3 million expense for a 30-second Super Bowl ad. Meanwhile, word of the video spread quickly on the Internet. As of The Catholic Post’s deadline Wednesday, it had been viewed about 1.4 million times.
Yet we challenge viewers to find anything remotely objectionable about the ad.
NBC and the NFL did accept an ad using much the same premise, showing someone named David Abernathy doing incredible things through various stages of youth, only to wind up at age 28 as “a nervous car buyer” until he discovered an online car dealership.
Why are cars, Doritos, and beer more valued than — and why are we so afraid of — an unborn child? — Thomas J. Dermody, editor-in-chief, The Catholic Post