Religion and Super Bowl Commercials

In any given year, the most money spent on TV commercials comes with the most watched TV event of the year— the Super Bowl. And believe it or not there have been commercials made that deal with religion, such as the recent pro-faith and pro-life commercial involving Tim Tebow which aired during the last Super Bowl. But there have been other crassly commercial attempts to lure the faithful to more use of certain junk food products. Here’s an example of a commercial that, on further review, did not, and should not have seen the light of day.

Let’s consider for a moment why this commercial is offensive. While we are considering I’ll tell you a truish story about a mega-church that decided it would be o.k. to serve Koolaide and Cheese Nibs as the elements in a communion service attended by seekers. They had thought this might make seekers feel more comfortable, more at home, until one of them came up to the pastor and said: “Know what I liked about that service?” When the pastor said no, she replied “I liked that we stopped in the middle and had snacks.” The pastor later admitted this conjured up an unacceptable image in his head “This is my snack, given for you.” Which is also precisely the reaction that this commercial produced when test marketed, presumably to Christians. What this and other such attempts to use religion as a marketing tool does is trivialize the sacred. Indeed, some would say we are talking about sacrilege here, not merely trivializing the sacred. What do you think?

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