Is It All About Advertising?

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The SuperBowl is coming!  You know what that means...commercials!  Not just ordinary commercials either.  Whole creative teams come together to hopefully make an advertising campaign that people will never forget, paying millions of dollars for a 30 or 60 second spot.

Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oag8iBB7HE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbSpAsJSZPc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiO1_nVr3no
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Set-r53xvBI

But why do companies pan out so much cash for cute, funny and hopefully unforgettable commercials?

Answer:  So that their audience of 100 million people might see their product, become interested in their product and hopefully go out and buy what they are trying to sell.

Seems simple enough, right?

It works too.  Just after Christmas, my family went out to Buffalo Wild Wings (which we saw from a commercial)...and while we were there looking at their bazillion TVs, streaming games from all around the country, a commercial came on for night glasses.  The night glasses were supposed to make driving at night easier by making the roads brighter while cutting down from glare of oncoming vehicles.

For those who know my wife, she has an eye condition that will continue to get progressively worse, unless the Lord intervenes.  I thought these glasses would be a good way to help her with her night driving.  So from BDubs, we went across the street to the mall where there was a store called "As Seen on TV".  Inside the store, I found those same glasses and purchased them for Shannon. 

Of course, we didn't know if they were really going to work or if they were a sham, but the product was placed on a commercial in a place where I would see it.  It piqued my interested enough to visit a store where the glasses could be found.  The price was reasonable enough to take a chance on purchasing a pair.  And the result was that Shannon continues to use the glasses because they really do help.  I might even get a pair for myself.

Advertising actually works!!  But what exactly is advertising?

Simply put, advertising is just witnessing on behalf of a product instead of Jesus.  The ingredients are all the same.  Belief that the item sold (or service sold) is good.  Faith that, when purchased, the product will make a tangible difference in the lives of others, who will hopefully then, tell others about your amazing product, leading to more customers.

Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?  I mean, when was the last time you highly recommended something to someone?  Probably not that long ago.  Whether it was a movie, a car, a restaurant, a hotel, etc..., all of us have given someone unsolicited advice on things we thought best because of how those things have impacted our lives.

Jesus believed in advertising.  When He was here on earth, He sent His disciples to towns ahead of Him so they would be ready when Jesus came to them (Matthew 10:1-16; Luke 10:1-16).  He prepared them for what they should expect, as far as reaction from the people (Matthew 10:17-42).  And when they came back from their advertising campaign, they were greatly encouraged at all God had done through them (Luke 10:17-24).

After Jesus rose from the dead, He basically said...ADVERTISE TO EVERYONE ABOUT ME!!!!!

Of course, He put it more eloquently than that.  Here's what He actually said:

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All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  (Matthew 28:18-20)

But the ingredients of our obedience to this command are found in the formula in advertising.  First, we have to believe that telling others about Christ is good, in other words we have to believe in Christ before telling others about Him.  Second, we have to believe that telling others will make a significant difference in their lives.  Third, we want those affected as we to do the same by telling even more people about Jesus.

Our world today is shameless in their advertising for what they believe.  If you work a job, you may have been asked to say or do things that you thought was crazy, all for the hopes of attracting more business.  The question is:  Are we willing to be just as shameless in our proclamation of Christ?  The answer to that question may very well reveal how much you actually believe in Him. 

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