Touchdown Jesus

Have you heard the word? Jesus will make his network TV debut on Superbowl Sunday, starring in a campaign called ‘He Gets Us’.

The founder of Hobby Lobby and other wealthy donors are betting $100 million on Jesus to connect with millennials and Gen Z. And for good reason. Young Americans are abandoning organized religion in droves. So, the campaign backers are calling on their superstar player. Watch for God’s son to appear on America’s biggest stage, squeezed between ads for Hooters and the Bud Bowl.

Take a look:

As football fans know, Jesus was a big fan of the (New Orleans) Saints. So, he waived his talent fee to promote a website where followers can chat, text and get “positive vibes”.

The ads are thoughtful and subtle with sobering images of our country’s struggles. Enter Jesus, the compassionate refugee who wants to suit up and heal our divisiveness.

Now, let’s get back to the game as huge men bludgeon each other.

Here’s my take. Marketing Jesus as a brand makes me cringe. Has anyone ever found religion via a TV commercial? Isn’t faith supposed to be a personal relationship with God?

Jesus stands for truth, right? Then again, we were told Jesus was white, blond and spoke English. And another thing, I thought that Jesus loves us. Now, he just gets us, which seems like a letdown.

Even devout evangelical Christians see He Gets Us as a PR stunt. A Hail Mary pass to drum up followers. But, it’s hard to justify spending $7 million on a Superbowl commercial to promote the Lord.

Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. Slick campaigns won’t buy salvation.

Clearly, the campaign financiers forgot Jesus’ words: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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