Faith Group Focuses on Humility and Kindness in Super Bowl Return

The powerful symbolism of foot washing

He Gets Us returned to the Super Bowl with a campaign designed to spark conversations about the teachings of Jesus Christ. Agency Lerma developed two commercials: "Foot Washing" and "Who Is My Neighbor?"

Both make their pitch through still images from photographers Julia Fullerton-Batten and Bret Curry. The pictures depict people washing others' feet, an act that carries significant symbolic power, especially among Christians.

Last year's Big Game entries from He Gets Us depicted the perils of division and confrontation. They garnered plenty of press coverage both pro and con. Many detractors found the approach jarring (while some objected to such overt religious messaging altogether).

To switch things up for 2024, "We thought that maybe we should focus on the thematic inverse—one built on the premise of love and unity," He Gets Us says in campaign materials. "And with an election year that will be filled with division and derision, we decided to focus on one of the most important directives given by Jesus: 'Love Your Neighbor.'"

"As we explored creative ideas, we recalled the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet and realized this was the perfect example of how we should treat one another, even those people with whom we don’t see eye to eye."

Aired during one of the biggest media spectacles on the planet, the spots offered something a bit different.

Yes, they tout one particular belief system. But the work also speaks in humble terms to our shared humanity, regardless of personal faith.

Critics will dismiss the initiative as evangelical propaganda. Fair enough. 

Still, the ads are contemplative and thoughtful. If nothing else, they provided a brief respite from the night's brand bombardment and celebrity-driven bombast.

CLICK HERE to watch all of this year's Super Bowl commercials. 

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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