Super Bowl ads usually spark a decent amount of conversation about whether they were funny or trying to send a specific message.
This year, a Christian group called “He Gets Us” is sparking a lot of debate after it chose to plop down millions of dollars to promote Jesus during the big game.
Not everyone was thrilled with the move.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid brought it up during a segment of her show Monday night. She began by suggesting Super Bowl ads were “really not that great this year.”
However, the host noted, “But two from a group called ‘He Gets Us,’ really stood out, telling viewers to be childlike and urging us to look past our differences with a tagline, ‘Jesus loved the people we hate.'”
“What those ads didn’t tell you is who was behind the ‘He Gets Us’ campaign. It’s part of a $100 million campaign to help promote Christianity and build the brand of Jesus, according to its backers,” she continued. “Because his brand has really just never been built before.”
Listen to her comments below (starting at 35:48):
Reid noted “He Gets Us” is a subsidiary of an organization that has donated more than $50 million to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a pro-life organization. She also pointed out the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated it an “anti-LGBTQ hate group.”
It is worth pointing out the Southern Poverty Law Center is not Gospel. They have their own views that factor into their decisions to label an organization a “hate group.” And just because they slap an organization with the label does not make it so.
Reid continued, “In other words, it’s not as apolitical as ‘He Gets Us’ claims. And I think it is fair to say Jesus Christ wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on television ads promoting his image.”
“But who knows? Next year, if his brand is sufficiently promoted maybe he can find a way to improve the officiating,” she quipped.
Reid was not the only one to criticize these ads. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suggested the ads made fascism “look benign.”
Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 13, 2023
Aside from the donations made by the parent company of “He Gets Us,” it is unclear what Reid’s objections are to the ads. She did not make a theological argument about them. Instead, she seemed to suggest the ads were a waste of money because people know Christianity and Jesus.
By this logic, why should any successful brand spend money on ads?
Chances are, people know what Doritos taste like. Just thinking about Doritos, you can probably taste the cheesy flavor, and their triangle shape pops into your mind. And yet viewers saw ads for Doritos. However, you don’t see people saying, “People know what a Dorito tastes like. They don’t need to build their brand.”
And yet, with Christianity, there are so many different views and labels applied to Jesus and the Bible. So why not spend money on ads to try to reach people in America?