Birmingham, AL – Fox Sports has rejected a proposed Super Bowl commercial featuring “John 3:16“, a reference to a Bible verse that has been part of the culture of football in America for decades. Fans see it on signs in end zones after field goal and extra point attempts; on players’ tape and tattoos; and Tim Tebow was famous for writing it in his eye black. And yet, many fans don’t know what it means.
In producing this commercial, Fixed Point Foundation hopes to encourage fans to look up John 3:16 and consider its meaning. The spot ends by directing viewers to a website (lookup316.com) where the verse appears along with a simple explanation. Neither the website nor the commercial sell a product, ask for money, or promote a political agenda. It doesn’t even promote the sponsoring organization. The idea is to encourage viewers to consider their source of ultimate hope and purpose.
Fox Sports rejected the commercial on the basis that it contained “religious doctrine.” Of course, it seems one can advertise just about anything else. Few movie trailers are deemed too violent or commercials too sexual for prime time. But religious messages, even ones that are part of the sport and encourage viewers to decide for themselves if the message is a worthy one, are unacceptable.
In spite of Fox Sports’ rejection, the ad will air in some regional markets, starting with the state of Alabama. It is part of an initiative called “LookUp 316.”
Below are the details:
WHEN: February 6, 2011; 5:30 PM Kickoff; Lookup 316 commercial will air twice locally in Birmingham during the game.
Website is www.lookup316.com. Visit there to watch the commercial spot. Reactions?