‘Jesus ad’ to appear during Super Bowl; funders’ message: ‘He gets us’
Jesus Christ will be front and center in an advertisement slated to run during Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII, NPR reported Monday.
“. . .[W]e’re confident that as people clearly understand, read, and learn for themselves about who Jesus is, they’ll find wisdom, hope, and peace unlike any other offered,” the He Gets Us website explains.
The Super Bowl ad alone costs roughly $20 million to reach more than 100 million viewers, according to Fortune’s estimate.
The larger He Gets Us campaign is reportedly funded by Hobby Lobby founder David Green, a group called The Signatory, and other anonymous donors, multiple outlets reported.
The campaign’s website emphasizes that it takes no particular political position nor is it affiliated with any particular church or denomination.
“We simply want everyone to understand the authentic Jesus as he’s depicted in the Bible — the Jesus of radical forgiveness, compassion, and love,” the website says.
The Super Bowl ad buy is the latest installment in a larger, billion-dollar campaign that launched last year, Christianity Today reported.
“He gets us,” is the central message the ad’s funders intend to impart. The “He” who “gets us” is Jesus Christ, whom more than two billion Christians across the planet worship as the one and only savior of the world.
The group’s ads appeared during the Grammy Awards last week, which generated considerable buzz on social media. The 2023 Grammy Awards featured an intentionally satanic-looking performance by Kim Petras and Sam Smith.
The He Gets Us campaign initially launched in the form of billboard ads, online banner ads, and a YouTube channel. The YouTube channel features short, compelling videos highlighting the ways in which Jesus understands contemporary men, women, and children.
The featured ad on the He Gets Us YouTube channel is called “Outrage.” The 30-second spot uses black-and-white, contemporary images in a slideshow format. It describes a “controversial figure” who, though falsely accused of wrongdoing, chose to quell his outrage and “turn the other cheek.” That controversial figure, revealed at the end of the video, is Jesus Christ.
I think part of the idea behind the [Super Bowl] ad is that people have had bad experiences with Christians, especially in the last few years. And so they want to try and get the focus off Christians and back to Jesus,” Bob Smietana, national reporter for Religion News Service, told NPR’s Scott Detrow.
Smietana clarified that such groups might include people who felt they were not accepted at church because of their sexual orientation or political leanings. Others groups might have felt the same way based on their race. Still others may have felt alienated from the church based on egregious sexual abuse scandals that recently came to light.
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be broadcast live on Fox in the United States. Kickoff is at 6:30 ET.