Church-related Superbowl ad roundup

February 7, 2010



In the end, I missed all three church-related ads because I was out having a date with my youngest daughter. We did make it back to see The Who (!) playing the halftime show, and the second half of the game was quite exciting. But here’s a roundup of the three ads I wrote about (“Can you spot the church related Superbowl ads?“:

1. Focus on the Family ad

Kay’s reaction: “Huh? What’s this about? What’s it for?”
My reaction: They paid $2 million for this? Lame-o.

2. Dorito’s “Funeral” (a.k.a. “Casket”)

Kay’s reaction: “It was great!”
My reaction: Terrific job by folks at Mosaic.

3. Budweiser “Human Bridge”

Kay’s reaction: She liked the ad, but had no idea that the last three seconds were filmed at my friend’s bar / “third space” mission outpost. She was impressed when I told her.
My reaction: Way to go, Garman’s Pub!

What was your reaction to these commercials? What do you think of the stories behind them?



Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

7 responses to Church-related Superbowl ad roundup

  1. What about the google ad, where you see someing searching a bunch of stuff, and ends up moving to France, and searches for a church in paris… Or were you using church in a diff context?

  2. Hey rg! Yeah, that’s that problematic word “church” again. I try to avoid it because hey, society and the dictionary agree that it means a building, or an event.
    I meant “connected in some way to the Christian faith or to specific faith communities.”

  3. Ahh. Gotcha. thanks for the clarification. one of my friends recently has wanted to stop using “church” to refer to the building for that reason.

  4. Hmm, well I just watched the full Tebow story on Focus’ website. It is a great story, but I don’t know how relevant it would be for someone who isn’t in the Christian world. It’s not what I thought it would be. I was wondering if it might have been more relevant to talk to someone, or several people who had considered an abortion, and didn’t do it, and then show them with their kids now?
    I just wonder how relevant the Tebow story would be to a young, struggling pregnant girl. This is a family who already had 4 kids, and was a strong family…I admire them for what they went through, and it is an amazing story, but I am not sure how much most people could really relate to them.
    As for the other ads, they were funny and well done, but I don’t see a Christian message in them. What do you see that I’m missing?

  5. For all the uproar the Tebow commercial brought before it ran, I was surprised at what was actually shown. Not much of anything…more of a ploy to go to their website. Watched the story and like Samia said, it was inspiring. Someone prayed to have another baby that would be a preacher. They conceived and then trusted God through all the hardships of the pregnancy…that’s all great. I just don’t see how that speaks to a woman who has a pregnancy that she hasn’t asked for. The end of the story ended with speaking to that woman. Kind of made me feel uneasy…Out of that story, I don’t see the connection that God loves the unwanted baby too. I of course believe that he immensely loves an unborn baby, but I believe that we need to be tangibly loving the mother and people around her for that to make sense to someone. Not some commercial about a miracle baby.

  6. Sami,
    Interesting reaction to the Tebow thing. In a way, you can say the TV ad worked: You went to their site. But you raise good questions.
    As for the others, the beauty for me is that there is no “Christian message” in the sense of a a set of bullet points of truth, or even a story that is meant to help lead people to truth. Instead, the underlying message (that is not even present in the ads) is: this is who we are. Each of the faith communities now has a story to tell about who they are. Mosaic is now more appealing to the L.A. entertainment community. Garman’s Pub is now more appealing to people looking for that “Cheers” (everyone knows your name) experience.
    Salvation is not a solo experience, but a communal one. So we ourselves are the “Christian message.”

  7. Brandi, thanks for the rundown, and your reaction to, the Tebow ad and website. I especially like the way you broaden the context. The pro-life message tends to focus on a single act, because it is a horrible act. I don’t know how many people consider abortion horrible, but I bet most people consider it desperate. What are the desperate situations that result in desperate decisions? Reducing the need for abortions is something pro-lifers and pro-choicers agree upon, so why don’t we join forces and do just that?