Why Tim Tebow’s T-Mobile Spots Were The Best Ads Of Super Bowl XLVIII

TMobile/YouTube
TMobile/YouTube

People said it would never happen. People said it could never be done.

But it happened.

It was done.

Tim Tebow made it to the Super Bowl.

(Sort of.)

Sure, he hit a rough patch there for a while — you know, the whole thing about none of the 32 NFL franchises being interested in signing him, and how the constant, blinding spotlight by sports and news sources led to a further decrease in his popularity. But just when you thought he was down for the count, he rose again.

Tebow starred in two Super Bowl commercials, both of which were — and I’ll try to remain reserved and underwhelming here — magnificent pieces of art.

Prior to Super Bowl Sunday, a “Tebow over Manning” argument would have been met with scoffs and gags. The juicer sports programs tried posing questions like: Could Tebow have led this Broncos team to the Super Bowl? Is Tebow more clutch than Manning? Such segments were widely ridiculed. But now that Tim Tebow officially outperformed Peyton Manning during Super Bowl XLVIII, the only one who can laugh is Tim.

The irony is delicious. So were the advertisements. And not just the tantalizingly triumphant image of Tim saving a pair of puppies from a burning building.

The raw concept is creative. Tim Tebow shows how much you do without a contract. It’s quick, clever, attention-grabbing. Kudos to T-Mobile.

The writing is gorgeous. I’m still guffawing at the “nervous dad’s the mic” line.

And Tebow’s acting? My God! My Tebow! Talk about a “fuck you” move to Manning. All Peyton has anymore — because I’m preeeetty sure that performance robbed him of all dignity — is his commercials. It’s his thing. His only thing. But now Tim has bested him at that, too.

If you’re not back on the Tebow bandwagon yet, let’s walk through his two 30-seconds of glory moments last night frame-by-frame — the way he intended.

The first commercial opens with Tebow lifting weights. Yawn. Eye roll. He’s always lifting weights. Enough with the Tebow schtick! We get it!

Oh, but now he’s a doctor, and suddenly the idea of a TV drama starring Tebow as a conflicted football star/medical marvel has network executives licking their chops.

And then there’s this white bear behind Tim in the doctor scene. You think, “I had a similar bear when I was child, but I lost it around age 9.” Yep. 500% chance Tim stole your bear. And you’re okay with that.

Then, Tebow takes a selfie with Sasquatch and disses Iceland while revealing his plan to achieve global peace. Are the two connected? Would we be at peace if only Sasquatch were detained and forced to Snapchat our friends? Thank you, Tim, for this thought-provoking dialogue.

Finally, Tebow plays football on the moon, before appearing to fall off into space. Is this supposed to foreshadow a future event in which Tebow one-ups Felix Baumgartner by jumping from the stratosphere, catching a football, and landing in the end zone of some football field in New Mexico? I don’t want to read too much into it, but I kind of think that’s what the director was going for.

Okay, onto the second ad. No bullshit this time. Tebow’s already on top of a bull. You aptly think: “Well, I better strap in, this is going to be a wild ride.”

Then, in the span of five seconds, he’s a stunt man, a firefighter, and a rock star. Well, damn — maybe I would be a more well-rounded person too if I wasn’t bogged down by so many contracts!

You’re already convinced. The ads were amply persuasive. You’re switching to T-Mobile and you’re back on Team Tim. But then, the cherry on top: Swerving at high speeds with a fake mustache and aviators, Tebow remarks, “You might want to hold onto those doughnuts,” which you just KNOW was ad-libbed. There’s no way that line was in the script. But Tebow fell in love with the character and thought, “I think he’d make a snarky doughnut comment during the car chase scene.” Good work, Tim. That’s a value-add right there.

The commercial ends with a twelve-second reflection period. You’re left to wonder why you ever doubted Tebow. Without thought, you begin audibly apologizing at your television. He can’t hear you, but maybe he knows.

Tim taught us all a lesson on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s his world, not ours. The only reason we’re here is because he’s letting us live here. Maybe we ought to be more careful the next time we think of criticizing Tim Tebow. The next reminder might not be so friendly. TC mark

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