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'Love Your Enemies': Jesus Ad Was Second-Most Engaged Commercial During Super Bowl

02-13-2023

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A 60-second commercial about Jesus that aired during the Super Bowl was the second-most engaging advertisement during the broadcast of the game. 

EDO, a company that measures the TV ads people watch and how they engage online with the ad's product afterward, said the metrics of the "He Gets Us" black and white commercial titled "Love Your Enemies" came in at number 2 for engagement for all commercials aired during the Super Bowl. 

A Warner Brothers commercial about its next movie The Flash came in at number 1.  The Walt Disney Company's ad about its celebration of 100 years of storytelling came in at number 3.

WXMI-TV reports the advertising firm Haven spent $20 million to run a 30-second Jesus ad in the first half and a 60-second Jesus ad in the second half of the Super Bowl.

slider img 2As CBN News has reported, the He Gets Us campaign was launched in March of 2022 to reach people via TV, radio, digital ads, billboards, and experiential platforms. With a $100 million budget, the goal has been to start faith conversations among a wide array of people.

It is funded by Hobby Lobby CEO David Green and other anonymous donors. The ads direct people to a website where they can learn more about Jesus, find Bible reading plans, and connect with people online or in person who can answer their questions.

The campaign, is an initiative of The Signatry, a Christian foundation based in Overland Park, Kansas. It is a 501(c)(3) organization with a 100/100 Charity Navigator rating.

The foundation was given more than $100 million in funding from what it describes as "like-minded families who desire to see the Jesus of the Bible represented in today's culture with the same relevance and impact he had 2,000 years ago." 

"When people would hear, 'Oh, you're spending $100 million' they're like, that's a lot of money. And I think people are rightly skeptical," Jason Vanderground, president of the marketing firm Haven, and one of the creators of the campaign told WXMI earlier this month. 

"They've seen marketing be used in ways that manipulated and took advantage of people. We understand that, we actually think that's healthy to be skeptical about it. But we look at Jesus and just say he was like the perfect communicator. And he used the tools and the means that he had available to him to get his message out. And that's all we're doing here."

Theologically speaking, Jesus was both fully God and fully man. It's one of the mysteries of the Christian faith. But sometimes people forget how human he was, and how he dealt with all the same things we do. The ad campaign reminds viewers of his humanity and his ability to understand the struggles we all experience in life.

Watch the "He Gets Us" Love Your Enemies commercial below:

The "He Gets Us" commercials have also had their share of detractors, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who wrote on Twitter Sunday, "Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign."

Ocasio-Cortez, a Catholic, received backlash from several users over her criticism of the Christian ad campaign. 

Attorney Eric Owens responded, "That's your take from a great Super Bowl ad reminding us of the truth, universal to all religions and all wisdom, that hate is bad?" Owens said. "Are you serious? You have jumped the shark. Presumably, an intern is writing your tweets while you wear a fancy dress to a Super Bowl ball."

"Are you a theologian now? What can you not do?" another Twitter user asked the New York congresswoman. 

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) responded to Ocasio-Cortez on Monday morning, writing, "Jesus died a horrific death on a Roman cross so that our sins can be forgiven and whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."

"That's proof there's nothing Jesus wouldn't do to show us His love. AOC needs to know Jesus," she wrote.

Christianity is still in the majority in the U.S., with 63% of adults defining themselves as believers, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. But that figure is down from 78% in 2007. About 29% of Americans define themselves as religiously unaffiliated, up from 16% in 2007.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of