Anything even slightly controversial will have its fair share of detractors.
There are always two sides to every issue, and a massive $100 million dollar campaign about Jesus is not immune to criticism — even among those who support the underlying cause.
For a little background, the He Gets Us campaign is meant to paint Jesus Christ in a new light, someone who understood the lowly and overlooked. It’s mostly a marketing campaign with a message for the masses. The organization behind He Gets Us even ran a Super Bowl commercial recently, which is when most of the controversy started.
Many of the comments on their Facebook post about the Super Bowl ad are positive and supportive. A few are happy to see a campaign that raises awareness like this. Yet, for every encouraging post there is one that blasts the campaign as expensive and unnecessary.
A typical example: “Gimme a break. More weak therapeutic mush.”
And this: “Jesus would never approve spending millions on television ads. Jesus would take those millions and help the poor, homeless, and needy.”
Many of the comments take issue with the images in the ad, which show a lot of strife and combative expressions. The “us” in He Gets Us are people who are angry and upset, it seems. A final comment at the end is intended to surprise us: “Jesus loved the people we hate.”
If you’re the marketing genius who came up with the campaign, you might be feeling like you can’t win. Controversy does lead to more people seeing the content, but I don’t think the ad was meant to create controversy as much as awareness — to get people talking. My impression of the Facebook post is that it’s intended to unify, but social media is not playing along.
For starters, there are the obvious detractors, those who do not agree with the message itself or the subject matter. They view the He Gets Us campaign as a religious ploy. Then there’s those who actually agree with the message, but not the tactics used. The campaign did spend around $100 million and even lets you order a free shirt or a hat with no strings attached. Twitter users seem to be all over the board.
Here’s the post original tweet:
Social media marketing is not easy these days. We are all concerned with the nuance of messaging, images, and tone and less concerned with the big picture. We nitpick over a word or a photo even if we would normally (in real life) not object to the overall idea.
It’s surprising to see so many Facebook comments (about 1,600 of them so far) where the point is either to outright disagree with the message or to disagree with the approach.
Fortunately, there are many commenters who simply say “amen” or agree with the campaign. And, the post has almost 4,000 likes.
That says something about unity after all.