Two new ads aired during Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday continued a religious campaign that shared the message, "Jesus gets us."
One ad showed people from all backgrounds having their feet washed. Another encouraged viewers to recognize Jesus in their neighbors.
The new spots are a continuation of a campaign that started in March 2022. TV spots subsequently appeared during Super Bowl LVII in 2023, and other advertising and sponsorship have appeared during Major League Baseball games and NASCAR races.
The group behind the ads says it's trying to reach the widest audience it can.
“One of the main purposes for ‘He Gets Us’ is to try and invite anyone, no matter what they believe, to explore the story of Jesus,” campaign spokesperson Greg Miller told The Associated Press. “The audience of the Super Bowl allows us to do that with the greatest potential reach.”
After the first ads appeared, organizers said they were part of what would be a billion-dollar advertising push over three years to spread the message.
The groups and people associated with the ad campaign have ties to conservative religious and political agendas.
When it launched in 2022, the "He Gets Us" campaign was spearheaded by The Servant Foundation, which does business as The Signatry, a Kansas-based donor-advised fund that aims "To inspire and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity across generations to solve the world’s greatest problems."
The Servant Foundation has donated to Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that helped overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022.
Most donors to the group are anonymous, but it notably received funding from Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, whose company won a Supreme Court case in 2014, claiming a religious exemption to providing contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
A new charitable organization called Come Near has since taken control of the ad campaign. As first reported by Rolling Stone, David Green's son Mart serves on the board of Come Near.
Come Near says it plans to air more ads during major sports and cultural events, including during the upcoming Paris Olympics and during this year's political conventions.
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