Back a few years ago when I worked in radio, one of the big time no-nos was to play commercials endorsing like products back-to-back. No car dealerships or banks next to each other, for instance. I don't know if that practice still holds true today but the reasoning behind it was simple and logical: such placement waters down the message. Abide by the practice, and at the end of a 60 second spot break, viewers weren't left wanting a new car yet not knowing from whom to buy. It made a lot of sense. I think the rules finally changed when political ads became so plentiful that we had no choice but to bump the politicos against one another.
I say this after watching Sunday's onslaught of Super Bowl ads and hearing the debate today. My biggest impression of the night was that the National Organization of Women and other pro-choice groups cried a lot over nothing when it came to the Tim Tebow ad that promoted life. It was a good ad. It wasn't preachy yet it got the point across in a very subtle way and for that reason it was my favorite, with the Letterman-Oprah-Leno ad a close second and then all those crazy Doritos ads.
What I found a bit odd, though, was that immediately preceding the Tebow ad was the Snickers spot that showed not just Betty White but Abe Vigoda getting tackled in a pickup football game because they hadn't had their Snickers that day. The Tebow ad aired next and the dramatic climax of the spot was when Tebow "tackled" his mother.
Two ads back-to-back with unlikely recipients to be on the receiving end of "vicious" body slams.
I'm not saying it ruined the message, but In a small way, the effectiveness of the Tebow message could have been dulled for some viewers when CBS decided to air it immediately after the Betty and Abe tackle ad.
Surely that was not a conscious decision by the network to pacify the pro-choice lobby. Was it?