Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Is the Resurrection Funny? One Church Has a Super Bowl Bet on It

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Tim Tebow vs. ManCrunch has become the dominant Super Bowl story line in the run-up to Sunday's championship game. The decision by CBS to broadcast the pro-life story of Tebow's birth vs. the decision to bar ManCrunch's gay dating service spot (as the network has done with other gay-themed commercials) has been parsed many places, most ably here by my PD colleague Jeff Weiss.

But how about the Doritos ad that features a guy inside a closed casket filled with chips, watching the big game on a small TV -- all unbeknown to the tearful mourners sobbing at the high church funeral? The dude inside has faked his death to get off work, but when his ruse is discovered -- his excitement over a big play dumps him, the Doritos and the casket off the altar, to gasps -- his quick-thinking co-conspirator in the front pew jumps up and shouts, "Aaaah! It's a miracle!" Click play below to watch the ad:

Blasphemous? Here's the real kicker: The ad was produced by a Southern California mega-church hoping to take home up to $1 million in an ad contest sponsored by Frito-Lay -- not to mention the awesome buzz for the church, a 3,000-member congregation called Mosaic.

The ad, titled "Casket," is one of six finalists in the Doritos' Crash the Super Bowl challenge, and it is billed as "a lighthearted spoof that plays off the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

"We're not trying to use Doritos to propagate a message, but I think we want people to know that we have a sense of humor, that it's OK to laugh," Mosaic's lead pastor, Erwin McManus, tells the Associated Press. "So much of what comes out of the faith community seems so dour and somber and we want to say, 'Hey, we're real people. You can be a person of faith and really enjoy life and laugh.' "

Mosaic is described as a "hipster" church of twenty-somethings, many of whom work in the film industry. So it should be no surprise that the 30-second spot beat out more than 4,000 entries to make the finals, and that as of Wednesday it had recorded more than 104,000 views. That is a good bit more than any of the other five finalists, which had clocked between 74,000 and 85,000 views as of Wednesday.

Could the mega-church telegraph be sending "Casket" viral?

The top three vote-getters on the Frito-Lay site will have their spot aired during the Super Bowl, but none will know if they've made the final cut until the commercial airs. The creators of these top three ads will take home $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000, respectively, as well as get air time before an audience of some 100 million viewers, which would normally cost up to $2.8 million for half a minute.

Will it work? "Nobody's going to fall on their knees and accept Jesus as a result of this spot. But advertisers on Madison Avenue spend millions on a Super Bowl spot because they know it influences people," Phil Cooke, a Christian producer, filmmaker and author, tells the AP. "It might not get someone converted, but I think it will get someone to say, 'Maybe there is something I ought to investigate.' "

Or if you're like me, maybe you won't be able to get the image of being buried alive in Doritos out of your head -- or a lingering nacho cheese taste out of your mouth.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>