News That Illustrates—Special Super Bowl Ad Edition: February 11, 2013
This week we're offering our Super Bowl 2013 Ad Edition for News That Illustrates. We've selected these ads because they're creative, thought-provoking, and they have at least one preachable angle. For each of the commercials we've provided themes, a summary, preaching angles, and suggested Scriptures.
Milk Pep: The Rock in the Morning Run
Themes: Priorities; Parenthood; Fathering; Fathers
Summary: "The Rock" (Duane Johnson) hears three distraught little girls (it looks like his daughter and her two friends after a sleeping party) tell him that they're out of milk. As he heads out onto the street, he encounters a host of problems—a cat stuck up in a tree, crooks robbing a bank, a lion on the loose, etc.—but he places these urgent matters on hold while he tracks down the local milk truck. After he brings the milk back he says, "Ladies, gotta go to work."
Preaching Angles: As parents (this ad focuses on fathers), our work is important, but at times we have to put our goals and urgent matters on hold so we can be there for our kids.
Scriptures: Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21
Themes: Teamwork; Community; Small Groups
Summary: A scrawny kid (about ten-years-old) trying to play football is told, "Come back when you have a team." His mom takes him on a drive as he collects his teammates, including a kid who can wrestle a bear and a kid who can bench press 400 pounds. When they show up at the football field, it's obvious that they will be a formidable opponent.
Preaching Angles: We were designed for community. We need each other and we need one another's gifts and contributions.
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 12:4-23; Ephesians 4:7-16
Themes: Coveting; Greed; Selfishness
Summary: The scene opens with a lone Bedouin camel driver thirsting under the hot desert sun. Soon he is joined by a group of desert cowboys, a rat pack, and a tour bus of showgirls who are all trying to get to a huge bottle of coke. In their drive to quench their thirst, they nearly destroy each other. At the end of the commercial everyone discovers that the Coca Cola is actually 50 miles away so they continue their frantic quest to get there first.
Preaching Angles: Our quest to achieve our goals and satisfy our needs and desires becomes a frantic and brutal pursuit. We see others as the enemy who is preventing us from getting our needs met.
Scriptures: Matthew 20:20-28; Philippians 2:3-4; James 4:1-4;
Themes: Truth; Innocence; Parenthood
Summary: A child asks his father where babies come from, and receives an implausibly interstellar explanation.
Preaching Angles: We all know truths that we might not be comfortable thinking or talking about. In response, we often make up stories that reflect the world as we'd like it to be (or as we'd like our kids to think it is).
Scriptures: 1 Cor. 13:11, Rom. 1:18
Themes: Conflict; Hypocrisy
Summary: A library is destroyed in an escalating whispered debate over whether the cream or cookie part of an Oreo is better.
Preaching Angles: The people fighting here never raise their voices, but destroy a building. Conflict in the church can often be masked by politeness and "Christian" manners, but be no less destructive. Quiet voices do not mean true unity.
Scriptures: Rom. 12:18; 1 Thess. 5:13; Phil. 2:1-4
Themes: Kindness; Friendship; Optimism; Image of God
Summary: A series of security camera footage shows people at their best: in love, helping strangers, and writing messages of peace.
Preaching Angles: While we can often think the worst of human nature, this commercial reminds us that we're all mixed bags. The image of God in humanity is seen here through the lens of cameras dedicated to capturing human brokenness.
Scriptures: Luke 6:45; Matthew 12:35; Prov. 18:24
Finally, here's the entire text to the beautiful Ram Truck commercial with the speech by Paul Harvey titled "So God made a farmer":
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year,' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours." So God made the farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark."
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. "So God made a farmer."
Editor's Note: Paul Harvey's original version also included the following line: "and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church."