Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

Did You Get it?

The Super Bowl He Gets Us foot washing video versus the He Saves Us response video.

The He Gets Us campaign ran a Super Bowl ad that prompted Pastor Jamie Bambrick to produce a video titled He Saves Us. I’d like to compare the two videos in four areas:

Audio and Typesetting

Since Bambrick was responding to He Gets Us (HGU), he used the same music, font, and letter color in He Saves Us (HSU). Tie.


HSU used photos of people who have given their lives to Christ. The pictures are black and white and are very relatable. HGU, however, seems to have used AI image generation for their foot washing scenes. At this stage of AI development, the images feel kind of like the pictures in Jehovah’s Witness literature. Slightly offHSU.

Reaching Intended Audience

HSU is for Christians who felt something was missing from HGU. It is for people who already believe it’s better to be a former witch, atheist, transgender, lesbian activist, etc. And it delivered! HGU, on the other hand is for the unchurched so foot washing seemed an odd choice to me. We get it but would they get it? The news site SFGate ran a story the next day titled, “Super Bowl viewers baffled by ‘foot fetish’ commercial” though I don’t know how widespread or serious the confusion was. In the end, I’m not sure that the foot washing story was appropriate. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. HSU.

Achieving Intended Goal

Here’s where it gets complicated. All the push back against HGU I’ve seen from Christians has not been about the production values, or the theology of foot washing. It’s been missiological. When Bambrick posted HSU he said that HGU “whilst perhaps well intentioned, failed to convey anything of the gospel to the hundreds of millions who saw it.” But HGU didn’t intended to preach the gospel, it is pre-evangelism. That’s part of missiology that many Christians either don’t agree with, don’t like, or just don’t understand.

Think of it this way. If you’re a drag queen and you see the words FORMER DRAG QUEEN on the screen over an image of a smiling man in a button up shirt, you’ll probably only connect with it if you already feel something’s wrong with drag. But if drag feels like it’s the only way for you to be happy, the message would come across as condemning. Imagine a Muslim version of HSU with the words FORMER CHRISTIAN PASTOR over a picture of a smiling, bearded man in a white thawb.

Pre-evangelism is an attempt to open the conversation about Jesus. Bambrick’s introduction to HSU said, “Here’s my take on what they should have done.” While I really like HSU, I don’t think it is an ad that could have taken HGU’s place as pre-evangelism. Therefore, I’d say it failed to meet its intended goal. Why? The list of ‘formers’ in HSU ended with Rosaria Butterfield and I know her testimony. Plenty of Christians tried the HSU approach with her. She just put those letter in the ‘hate mail’ stack. But one pastor wrote to her not with answers but with questions. That was the pre-evangelism that got her attention. It wasn’t the gospel but that letter led Rosaria to a relationship with Pastor Ken Smith and that relationship led her to a relationship with and faith in Jesus. That’s how pre-evangelism is supposed to work.

At the same time, because of the problems listed above, I’m not sure that the HGU foot washing video achieved its intended purpose either. So I’m giving this category to neither.


In the end He Saves Us wins as the better video. In the past He Gets Us has done other, better videos; the foot washing one wasn’t their best. But I do appreciate what they’re trying to do, and I understand that some Christians don’t get it.