A Christian foundation recently launched a $100 million-plus advertising blitz across the United States, and online, to "redeem Jesus' brand" from the apparent damage of his followers.
The "He Gets Us" campaign has been characterized as an effort to bring skeptics and cultural Christian folks together, in hopes of freeing "the story of Jesus from hypocrites and extremists" — particularly among those who say one thing, but ultimately do another.
According to The Washington Post, billboards featuring messages such as "Jesus let his hair down, too" and "Jesus went all in, too" have been hitting major American markets, including New York City and Las Vegas.
And in some places, the Post reports the billboards are "dominating" public common areas.
Here's an example of one billboard in famous Times Square.
For the online side, various ads featuring Jesus as a rebel, an activist, a loner, a pauper, or host of a dinner party have reportedly been viewed more than 300 million times.
The Kansas-based Christian foundation, the Signatry, launched the "He Gets Us" campaign, with the help of undisclosed Christian donors, according to the Post.
Also, the Signatry has plans to expand its marketing reach, with an enhanced website and online store where people can reportedly get free gear, "if they forgive someone or welcome a stranger," or join an outreach program for churches.
There are even plans for a Super Bowl TV ad next February, where 30-second commercials during the game typically cost more than $6.4 million.
"Our goal is to give voice to the pent-up energy of like-minded Jesus followers, those who are in the pews and the ones that aren't, who are ready to reclaim the name of Jesus from those who abuse it to judge, harm and divide people," says Jon Lee, one of the campaign's chief architects.
Lee, an ad principal at Lerma, based in Dallas, Texas, also wants the campaign to inspire others to share even greater stories about Jesus, while encouraging people to act like him.
The He Gets Us campaign is "not affiliated with any church or denomination." Instead, congregations who sign up as partners do not need to affirm any specific statement of faith, according to reports.
The ad blitz, however, might have something do with the following Tweet from Breitbart News:
"America's Christian majority has been declining for years and if the trend continues, Christians could make up less than half the U.S. population within decades, a study from the Pew Research Center shows."
Jason Vanderground, president of the Michigan-based branding firm Haven, told the Post the movement hopes to "bridge the gap" between the ancient story of Jesus and the public perception of his present-day followers.
From Vanderground's perspective, Christians see their faith as the greatest love story, but those outside the faith see Christians as a hate group.
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