Two non-denominational ads for Jesus and Christianity (totaling 90 seconds of air time) appeared during the Super Bowl last night. According to the results of USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, the spots promoting universal love and fellowship ranked 8th and 15th out of 51 commercials.
I’m glad they ranked highly. The ads are disruptive and unexpected and that’s what we want from ads. These ads also come from two small agencies. One in Dallas and another in Grand Haven, Michigan. That’s unusual. Plus, there are no celebrities in these ads. Also, highly unusual for a Super Bowl ad.
Church Membership Is Down, Down, Down
U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.
In 2020, just 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.
The question we might ask is how has this shift in the culture shown itself in the culture. Are we in a better place now, spiritually and materially speaking? Are we less depressed and isolated? Do we love thy neighbor?
He Gets All of Us and Our Need for Love
The campaign has been live for a number of months. Here are some of the other spots, which also benefit from inclusive messaging and beautiful black-and-white photography.
Where the Money’s Coming from
According to Christianity Today, the campaign is a project of the Servant Foundation, an Overland Park, Kansas, nonprofit that does business as The Signatry. The donors backing the campaign have until recently remained anonymous. Then last November, David Green, the billionaire co-founder of Hobby Lobby, told talk show host Glenn Beck that his family was helping fund the ads.
Jason Vanderground, president of Haven, the branding firm based in Grand Haven, Michigan, that is working on the “He Gets Us” campaign, confirmed that the Greens are one of the major funders, among a variety of donors and families who have gotten behind it. Donors to the project are all Christians but come from a range of denominational backgrounds, said Vanderground.