An interview with Pam and Bob Tebow about their “miracle baby” received over 760,000 hits after a Super Bowl ad directed viewers to the video, said an official at Focus on the Family.
After the highly-anticipated Tebow ad aired during the big game on Sunday, the ministry said its website traffic increased 40 times its normal volume.
“Our Web site is crashing,” joked Jim Daly, president and CEO of FOTF, to USA Today on Monday.
A clearly pro-life story was introduced to more than 106 million people during the Super Bowl through the 30-second, light-hearted ad featuring Tim and Pam Tebow. The humorous ad, in which Tim playfully tackles his mom, led viewers to the Focus on the Family website, where the full story is featured.
In an eight-minute interview, Pam and her husband, Bob, share about the special circumstances surrounding the conception of their son Tim, the 2007 Heisman trophy winner. The couple and their four children had prayed by name for “Timmy” before he was conceived, and Bob made a vow to God that he would raise Tim to be a preacher.
After Pam became pregnant, she went to see a doctor who advised her to abort the baby because of the severe health risk the pregnancy posed to her. Pam, however, refused and carried the pregnancy to term.
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Focus on the Family had anticipated the higher traffic and expanded the capacity of its servers ahead of time.
Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media relations at FOTF, told Catholic News Agency that the interview with Pam and Bob Tebow received over 760,000 hits on Sunday and Monday alone. Meanwhile, the Tebow ad received more than 305,000 hits.
Schneeberger said the ads allowed the ministry to talk about “the sanctity of life, the importance of celebrating life, and celebrating family” on a national level.
“We’ve developed now all these potential new relationships with people who hopefully will reach out to Focus on the Family when they encounter life challenges,” he said to CNA.
Many have observed that Focus on the Family is taking a new approach to the abortion debate. Its founder, James Dobson, is known for his strident opposition to abortion and gay marriage. But new FOTF president Jim Daly is seen as taking a less divisive approach that seeks to engage people in conversation.
Positive comments about the Tebow ad outnumbered negative ones after it aired, according to Scott Briggs, director of business solutions at Alterian.
The Tebow ad was ranked 54 out of 65 Super Bowl ads on the USA Today Ad Meter, but was given an A- for publicity strategy by TIME TV critic James Poniewozik on his “The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials 2010” list.