A group of private investors has launched a massive multi-million dollar ad campaign to reintroduce Americans to Jesus.
"He Gets Us" will reach people via TV, radio, digital ads, billboards and experiential platforms. With a $100 million budget, it's expected to start conversations among a wide array of people.
"Our focus is getting Jesus into the places where people are consuming a lot of media right now," said Jason Vanderground, president of the marketing firm Haven, and one of the creators of the campaign.
"He Gets Us" follows nationwide research last year showing many adults in the U.S. aren't sure what they believe and that many have negative views of Christianity.
Haven founder Bill McKendry says the campaign is targeting that audience. "'He Gets Us' is disrupting misconceptions by pointing out how Jesus identified with the marginalized, how He didn't favor the powerful, how He often offended the religious by associating with social outcasts," he said.
Dr. Ed Stetzer, the executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, says the research also shows that many people have a positive view of Jesus himself. "The hope of the 'He Gets Us' campaign is they might actually dig a little deeper," he said.
The campaign's ads focus on current issues like anxiety and crisis pregnancies.
"We looked at Jesus' life and we looked at what the American public is going through right now and just said, 'What are the things that are most relevant to people?'" Vanderground explained.
In addition to the ads, the campaign also provides opportunities for people to chat, text and read passages of Scripture in an organized reading plan.
"The main goal is just to increase the respect and the personal relevancy of Jesus," said Vanderground.
Stetzer says the campaign's wide reach could lead to large numbers of people both seeing its ads and responding.
"We want to encourage people in this moment, a time of confusion and division," said Stetzer. "Maybe this is an opportunity--not to vent everything we have an opinion about on social media--but to talk to our friends and neighbors about Jesus, who've seen these ads."
The campaign is set to run through the end of 2022.
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