Fifty-two companies purchased advertisements in the 2016 Super Bowl. Each paid CBS five million dollars for 30 seconds of time on the air. That’s $166,666.67 per second!
Why would anyone spend that much to show a half minute message on TV, only one time? How else could any business communicate to an audience of over 100 million people, at once?
The message these advertisers wanted to communicate is who they are, what they do, and why we need what they have to offer. Two advertisements of interest come to mind:
- The Doritos Ultrasound. This ad opens with a pregnant woman having an ultrasound. The dad is shown casually munching chips, which annoys the mom. Then we see the not quite yet born baby in mother’s womb reaching toward the chips. When mom grabs the bag and tosses it out of reach, the unborn baby is shown rushing for the exit — early delivery time!
In what some are calling the dumbest denunciation ever, NARAL, formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League, slammed the ad for “humanizing fetuses.” I cannot comprehend how anyone who sees an ultrasound showing a baby in its mother’s womb can doubt that the baby is a live human being. Embryonic life is a precious gift of God!
- The Budweiser “Commercial.” I’m not talking about the paid Bud ads but about Peyton Manning’s interview by CBS’s Tracy Wolfson. After the award presentation, he said he was going to kiss his wife and kids and “drink a lot of Budweiser.” He said it again later.
In addition to paying for two commercials, Budweiser got two freebies from Manning. Such a deal! One full minute and two quick comments for a paltry $10 million!
At times like these I wonder what a $5 million thirty second advertisement for the Christian Church would look like. We could begin by communicating who we are, what we do and why those who don’t yet believe in Christ need what we have to offer.
A better idea might be to skip the ad and spend the $5 million living out what Jesus said: “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink, a stranger and you invited me into your home, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me… When you did [these things] to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matt. 25:34-36, 40)
Think about it! Not a bad idea to implement during the Lenten season!