You get to write this Post. Or at least most of it.
Did you watch last Sunday’s Super Bowl? – great game! said he who doesn’t much like football.
Did you see the commercials? If you watched very closely, in between the likes of:
perhaps you noticed two short commercials, one of which concluded like this:
Apparently these are shown elsewhere as well. (I haven’t seen any, but then we don’t watch much commercial TV.)
The overall theme of these is “He Gets Us”, They’re intended to demonstrate that Jesus was actually human like us, that He suffered many things that other human beings do, especially those who are down and out.
The campaign is funded by The Servant Christian Foundation, a nonprofit group backed by a Kansas-based, “Christian donor-advised” fund called The Signatry. Many of the donors prefer to remain anonymous. I have read that one of their chief sponsors is Hobby Lobby, a national chain of stores whose owner is an evangelical Christian.
According to USA Today, the “He Gets Us” campaign has two main goals, to “increase the respect and personal relevancy of Jesus” and to “encourage Christians to follow the example of Jesus in how they treat other people“.
This is most definitely a commercial campaign – but then again in other ways it isn’t. They offer t-shirts, mugs, hats and the like labelled “Jesus was wrongly judged:, “Jesus was a refugee”, and so on. However, the price of these is not money, but rather they ask recipients to do something good: help a neighbor, serve the poor, forgive a family member, etc.
The website of the “He Gets Us” campaign ” makes it clear that they represent no particular church or religious denomination, nor is this a political organization. However, they certainly don’t hesitate to refer to politics and other controversial topics. For example, videos suggest that Jesus “was fed up with politics”, that he lived “in the middle of a culture war” of His own, and also that some people wanted Christ “canceled” because they “felt threatened” by His words, including His “extreme views on love”.
The “He Gets Us” Videos
Here, if you wish, you can watch as many of these videos as you wish, as well as some explanatory articles about them. Be prepared: Many of them are not “pretty”.
To access them:
Here are some questions I’ve used to help myself evaluate the videos. Perhaps you’ll also find them helpful. I offer them in an entirely impartial way. I am not fishing for negative or positive responses.
1 What was your immediate reaction (emotional, mental, spiritual?) to these commercials?
2 If you watched the Super-Bowl and saw these commercials there, what was your immediate reaction then? how effective do you think they were?
3 Do you think it’s appropriate to advertise Jesus Christ by means of TV commercials.
4 Do you think they present an accurate picture of Our Lord Jesus?
5 What audience(s) do you think these commercials are trying to reach? What audience(s) do you think they will actually reach?
6 Overall, do you think they are an effective way of bringing people to Christ?
7 Do you think they are an appropriate use of $100,000,000? Would the money have been better spent in other ways?
If you search the internet, you’ll find many articles from many points of view with many and varyied reactions, both positive and negative, about “He gets us”.
Now, if you wish, in the “Leave a Reply” section below please write as little or as much as you like. At the beginning of next week’s column, I’ll share my own reactions.
Even if you don’t wish to comment, I hope you’ll tune in occasionally during this next week to see other people’s reactions. I am very eager to find out what you all think.
Next Week – Last Minute Preparations for Great Lent
Week after Next – The Great Fast with Advice about Fasting from Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Isaac the Syrian and others.
3 thoughts on “370. Commercials for Jesus at the Super Bowl?”
I may have 1/2 paid attention to one of them but was uncertain what it was trying to say at the end. Just having 30 to 60 seconds to present the Lord does not seem like it would accomplish much. /shrug
The commercials – from my judgement – appear aimed towards two groups: (1) Social conservatives who view Christianity strictly through the lens of a few hobby-horse issues (abortion, same-sex marriage, school prayer, etc) and may not always focus on broader teachings of the faith (2) Secular individuals, most likely of a younger age, turned off from Christianity by the more vocal members of group #1. “He Gets Us”, I believe, seeks to reintroduce Christianity to group #2.
Very interesting collaboration of funding, according to news reports: Hobby Lobby, The Signatry, as well as anonymous donors.
I really thought this Post would draw many comments and some lively discussion. Shows how much I know. I promised to let you know my opinions: I agree entirely with our first “commenter” above – who interestingly enough is my son. Family unity! I also agree with Luke: I thought they weren’t effective at the Super Bowl. At least with me, by the time I realized I was watching them, they were over. If they had been perhaps a minute long, I think they would have worked, but that obviously would have cost an even greater fortune.