Faith Organization He Gets Us Puts Jesus Christ in Super Bowl

Group runs 2 Big Game plays

"Jesus loved the people we hate. He gets us. All of us. Jesus."

That message drives "Love Your Enemies," a minute-long Super Bowl commercial from Christian outreach organization He Gets Us. Ahead of its Big Game debut, the group has generated considerable buzz and stirred controversy for its conservative ties.

"Enemies," a stripped-down, mostly monochrome :60, presents archival scenes of anger and confrontation. Rag'n'Bone’s funky, insistent "Human" provides the soundtrack.

He Gets Us puts the spot in context: "What would the world look like if we all resisted the temptation to defend our self-interest at all costs and loudly proclaimed together that the love for others, the compassion for another’s lived experience, the empathy for their position, and the respect for their dignity were the most important values we all could hold?"

The group continues: "That's a hard ask, seemingly impossible. But He Gets Us invites people to explore the story, teachings, and mission of one who lived that way. No matter what you believe about God or Christianity, consider this: What might we learn today from a person like that?"

A :30, "Be Childlike," serves as a companion piece to "Enemies," showing positive images of kids and families. "Jesus didn't want us to act like adults," the ad proclaims, as Patsy Cline's hopeful "If I Could See the World (Through the Eyes of a Child)" plays in the background.

"Back in Jesus' day, children weren't regarded the same way they are today," the organization says. "This made his teachings around the value of being childlike countercultural. Jesus taught, 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' And he lived it out—childlike in humility, compassion, and gentleness. What can we learn from his example today?"

There's been so much chatter about this campaign that the actual work feels anti-climactic. It's effecting, but no divine revelation.

That likely doesn't matter. HGU surely got its money's worth already, cutting through the pre-game clutter of celebs and nostalgia hype to trumpet its cause.

By way of an update: the effort miffed both left- and right-wingers after the game. 

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign."

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, Charlie Kirk, who heads campus group Turning Point USA, said the spots "pander to liberals."

From HGU's perspective, perhaps there's no such thing as bad publicity, as the org reaps massive attention that was absent from the media-sphere mere weeks ago.

Agencies Haven and Lerma worked on the initiative. The latter used Christian themes in a far broader context for Avocados From Mexico's SB entry, riffing in wacky fashion on Original Sin.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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