We're two days past the Super Bowl, and most of what people are talking about has nothing to do with the game and everything to do with what happened when it wasn't being played.
The commercials are often the most entertaining part of the Super Bowl. The celebrities featured in this year's ads reads like a who's who of Hollywood: Matt Damon, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel, Jeff Bridges, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, and Kim Kardashian among others. Ad agencies are ranking the five best and the five worst of the evening. While they disagree on which was the best, everyone seems to agree that Nationwide's morbid ad, narrated by a child who died in an accident, was the worst.
The interesting common denominator in many of the commercials was the importance of fathers. Dove dedicated their 30 seconds (at a cost of $4.5 million) to conveying the message that real men care, featuring clips of dads caring for their kids. Toyota highlighted the fact that being a dad is more than being a father. The ad follows a dad and his daughter as she grows up. He stands by her through tough times, rescues her from bad situations, and eventually, drops her off for military deployment, proving that being a dad is a choice that entails commitment. Nissan portrayed a race car driver trying to balance his love for his career and his love for his son. Even the much-maligned Nationwide ad made the point that fathers need to protect their children.
Surprisingly, Richard Sherman illustrates the theme. The Seahawks cornerback is famous for ranting expletives after games. But after losing such a close Super Bowl contest, Sherman tweeted, "Thank you God for giving us the opportunity. . . . That's all you can ask for. . . . Thank you everyone for the support all year." Perhaps his status as a soon-to-be father affected his spirit.
It's ironic that companies made ads to sell their products, but most didn't use their products to sell their ads. They knew that we know that there's more to wealth than money. Four centuries ago, English historian Thomas Fuller noted that "riches enlarge rather than satisfy appetites." What would he think of our consumeristic society? No matter what we possess, it's never enough. And if we're not careful, our possessions will possess us. (Tweet this)
That's why the fatherhood theme resonates so deeply. The only "possession" we can have forever is our children. If we, and they, know Jesus as Lord, we will spend eternity with our Father and with each other. Investing in the souls of the children entrusted to us is our most eternal investment. (Tweet this)
It's been noted that "the real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money." Well?
Publication date: February 3, 2015
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