You may not think of commercials as media. They are on TV and we watch them, but we don’t consider them traditional entertainment.
But they are entertaining!
When we celebrated the Super Bowl a few days ago, we watched primarily for the football game, but secondarily for the excellent commercials that were produced especially for the occasion. The advertising was able to draw us in just as much as the game did.
The commercials were trying to sell us something, but they were also giving us something. Usually, they offer us an emotional fulfillment of some kind, which they do by appealing to one of our desires.
Humans have a lot of desires—some good, some bad. Some of our desires were given to us as image bearers of God, like the desires for love, community, and beauty. But these God-given desires are skewed by the fall. Our desire for love becomes a desire for inappropriate sexual satisfaction. Our desire for community becomes a desire for prestige and popularity. Our desire for beauty becomes a desire for exciting spectacle through all means.
Advertisers take different approaches as to which desires they will appeal to make us emotionally hooked. Our job as Christians is to discern whether they are appealing to our good desires or sinful desires.
Think about your favorite Super Bowl commercial. What did you like about it? Was it funny? Sweet? Weird? Crude? Try to understand your emotional response to the presentation and content.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite Super Bowl commercial was and why!