A short message ... an eternal impact
Bill Bumpas - OneNewsNow - 1/17/2012 2:35:00 PM
Focus on the Family does it again. After airing a pro-life spot during the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, the Christian ministry sponsored another commercial during the NFL playoffs last weekend.
The spot, which aired during the second quarter of Saturday night's game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, was seen by an estimated 30-million viewers. This time around the commercial was all about John 3:16 -- and featured children reciting the well-known verse.
Gary Schneeberger, VP of communications for Focus on the Family, tells OneNewsNow the idea for the commercial came up after Tim Tebow -- the star quarterback for the Broncos and unashamed Christ-follower -- threw for 316 yards in his team's previous playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, setting off a flurry of Internet comments comparing it to John 3:16.
"What happened after that interestingly though was almost 100-million people, I understand, went to Google to look up what John 3:16 meant," explains Schneeberger. "We saw that as a great opportunity, given the interest, to save them the trouble if you will of having to go to the computer and look it up.
"So we just presented it right there on the screen -- out of the mouths of babes, as it were; the cute kids in the commercial. We've really been astounded by the impact that that's had."
According to the ministry spokesman, comments coming in included one that validated the entire effort.
"[They included] one gentleman who on his Twitter page wrote that his two sons had seen the ad and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior," says Schneeberger. "And that's it -- because John 3:16 is the essence of the gospel, the heart of the gospel."
All the ads for the Super Bowl are already sold out, so the spot will not show up there. But Schneeberger says there is a good chance it will air again somewhereelse."