Dogs Say "Woof." FOTF Says, "We're the Little Guys!"
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Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 09:58:47 PM EST
Focus on the Family opposes a creative pro-gay ad with a stylistic copycat and a gigantic persecution complex.
First came a series of proposed ballot measures relating to same-sex unions in the state of Colorado.

Then came the Born Different internet ad campaign, sponsored by the Gill Foundation, an LGBT charity based in Denver, Colorado. It featured Norman, a puppy that was born mooing instead of barking. The point was to illustrate that people are also born a bit different sometimes, and that's okay.

In July, Focus on the Family retaliated with their own dog, Sherman, the centerpiece of their No Moo Lies internet ad. Why does Sherman bark? "Because that's what dogs do." They state that "tinkering with the definition of marriage" is "pretty silly. Just like a dog that says anything other than 'woof'."

The entire site is a Bizarro version of the Gill Foundation ad. The Gill Foundation had gay penguins; they had ex-gay (actually, bisexual) penguins. They use another bisexual, Anne Heche, to illustrate that gays can change. (Heche describes herself as bisexual, not changed to straight.) Alan Chambers, the current president of Exodus International, delivers his story as well.  Dr. Robert Spitzer's 2003 research regarding the efficacy of ex-gay ministry is used even though Spitzer himself decries the use of his research by the Religious Right.  Most bizarrely, Focus claims that same-sex couples already have most of the civil rights marriage would guarantee. Many same-sex couples would say something different.

All of this is old news.  But in an August 1, 2006 article for their CitizenLink webzine, Gary Schneeberger of Focus on the Family discusses their reasoning for the No Moo Lies ad.  He attempts to make his organization's lack of creativity look noble and discusses some obstacles to their response. It is revealing for opponents as well as supporters.

Schneeberger admits to skating on thin ice, legally speaking:

...He's a basset hound (because our lawyers wouldn't let us use a spaniel — something about intellectual-property infringement)

He seems to understand that Focus has a less than fun-loving public image:

Our strategy, not exactly the historical norm for Focus on the Family ad campaigns, was to match the Gill Foundation's cute, playful and simplistic tone. They had ads that simply showed a dog's silhouette and the word "Moo" — so we produced an ad with a dog's silhouette and the word "Woof." They had a Web site that featured information about "gay penguins," we made sure our Web site included a story about ex-gay penguins.

What's more, we held the news conference launching the campaign in the Whit's End Soda Shoppe on our campus — an homage to the Adventures in Odyssey kids series — complete with root-beer floats for reporters and press kits that consisted of a stuffed-toy dog that barked when you pressed his stomach. This kind of playfulness and creativity played against the reputation Focus on the Family has here in Colorado Springs, at least in terms of our work in the government and public policy arenas, and the media couldn't resist it.

In an extremely disingenuous move, he makes Focus look--no pun intended--like the underdog:

We weren't intimidated by the resources of the other guys. Mind you, we were combating an advertising blitz that cost nearly $1 million to produce through a big-ticket agency with only a week's worth of work from about six or seven of our staff members. To put it in dog terms, the other side had a St. Bernard, and we had a Chihuahua.

...Remember that the next time you're the David to the left's Goliath.

According to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, this army of Davids (or is that Chihuahuas?) took in $143,368,000 at the end of the 2005 fiscal year.

No wonder all they could do in response to the Gill Foundation's efforts was serve root beer floats in the soda shoppe of their multi-million dollar campus, named after a gathering place in the radio show they produce, and stylistically copy their opponents' ad!  The poor dears didn't even have time to do their research!

Sounds great, thanks for the great article, im a dog lover myself and i always make sure that my dog wear the best flea collars for dogs

by walter on Sun Feb 02, 2020 at 10:03:48 AM EST

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