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Bringing ‘The Real, Authentic Jesus’ to the Marketplace—He Gets Us Responds to Criticism of Its Super Bowl Ads

he gets us
Screenshots from YouTube / @He Gets Us

He Gets Us has responded to criticism some people have vocalized following the airing of its two ads during the Super Bowl last Sunday. In a statement to ChurchLeaders, He Gets Us explained its strategy and addressed the idea that the money spent on the ads should have gone toward helping people in need. 

“He Gets Us is actively connected to thousands of churches and ministries, which each follow their own missions to help people in need,” said a spokesperson for He Gets Us. “We’ve seen many of these either extend current efforts or even begin new ones, as a result of the messages that He Gets Us is sharing publicly. These include efforts to address human trafficking, poverty, illiteracy, education, and many others.”

He Gets Us: Creating a ‘Cascade of Love’

He Gets Us is a national campaign addressing the fact that “the story of a man who taught and practiced unconditional love” has become “associated with hatred and oppression.” On its website, the campaign says its “agenda” is “to move beyond the mess of our current cultural moment to a place where all of us are invited to rediscover the love story of Jesus. Christians, non-Christians, and everybody in between. All of us.”

During the Super Bowl, He Gets Us aired two ads, the first titled, “Be Childlike,” and the second titled, “Loved Your Enemies.” The ads reportedly cost $20 million.

Among the criticisms the campaign has received is that so much money would have been better spent on alleviating problems like hunger and oppression. 

He Gets Us, however, says that cultivating conversations about Jesus will help to address those very issues. HeGetsUsPartners.com says that over 113,000 people have been connected to local churches through the campaign, and He Gets Us notes that these churches are working to fight a variety of social ills. The statement continues:

We believe it’s more important now than ever for the real, authentic Jesus to be represented in the public marketplace as he is in the Bible. We believe that investing in efforts to ensure more people consider his life and movement as inspiration for their own, will in turn, help improve the lives of those listening — and begin to create the kind of cascade of love Jesus himself sought to generate.

One great example is the He Gets Us gear program, which asks people to choose an act of radical love to perform in exchange for a hat, shirt, water bottle, etc. We regularly hear from people who are motivated to forgive, serve, and show other confounding acts of love because of the encouragement from He Gets Us.