A Super Bowl Commercial Levels the Playing Field for Outreach


A Super Bowl Commercial Levels the Playing Field for Outreach

ASSIST News Service (ANS) –

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Super Bowl Commercial Levels the Playing Field for Outreach

By Patti Townley-Covert
Special to ASSIST News Service


(ANS) — “Bury me with a beer and cigarettes.” That funeral request, made by Gabe Trevino’s grandfather, inspired “Casket,” one of the finalists in the Doritos competition for a Super Bowl commercial.

Erwin McManus

For years Erwin McManus, a passionate storyteller and pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles, has been challenging people to develop their creativity. He also encourages an outreach style that engages people, who do not know Jesus, in the areas of their interests. So, when Kevin T. Willson heard about the Doritos contest, he mentioned it to his pastor. Because Erwin had recently started Boy and Rocket Production Company, they decided to enter their first “create-a-commercial” competition and began pulling together a team, primarily from Mosaic, that included Gabe. Out of twenty-five original ideas, his real-life experience captured their imaginations.

In their entry for the fourth annual Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” challenge, the “deceased” planned his own funeral so he could lie undisturbed in a casket while munching Doritos and watching football. But the service doesn’t exactly go according to plan. A humorous upset catapulted this commercial into the top six finalists and gave its creators $25,000.00 plus tickets to Super Bowl XLIV. From a luxury suite at the Sun Life Stadium in South Florida, McManus and Willson (the Casket’s director) will watch the New Orleans Saints face off with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday February 7th. That’s also when they’ll find out if their commercial made it into the top three. If it does, “Casket” will be aired on television during the game.

That distinction would signify that this team reached their goal. “We

After a football fan fakes his own death to get out of work, his coffin and picture take center stage at the funeral

wanted to do something so inspiring, so high-quality, and so creative that we would earn the right to be heard,” said McManus.

The author of many books, including Wide Awake and Soul Cravings, he believes that “the imagination is God’s gift of creativity to humanity. It is the one way you can see the ideal, go places you’ve never been, step into experiences you’ve never known. In your imagination you have unlimited resources, unlimited capacity, unlimited range of influence. In some ways, in our imaginations we are most like God.”

He adds, “Unfortunately the material for our imagination is primarily filtered through our hearts. When our hearts are separated from God, our imaginations can move to tremendous corruption. But when our hearts are joined to God, our imaginations can be the birthplace of the dreams of God for our lives.”

Very much alive, the ‘deceased’s’ enthusiasm upsets the casket, exposing the extent to which he went to fulfill his fantasy. A friend (and ‘mourner’) tries to cover the scheme, by jumping to his feet and proclaiming, ‘It’s a miracle!’

“Casket” is simply a tool for initiating relationships with individuals who might not otherwise be interested in finding out more about biblical faith. By using football, Doritos, and entertainment to stand on common ground, people can see creativity in action.

Using this poplar medium also demonstrates McManus’s belief that “the church can become the place where the great artists of our time paint their first strokes and great musicians sing their first notes. The church can become the place where the great thinkers and the great scholars and the great writers emerge. The church can become the environment where the future’s poets and film directors, dancers and doctors, grow up in community and learn that their talents are a gift from God.”

This commercial is a first step in what McManus and Willson hope is a much bigger journey. They want to do even more “to inspire people to faith.” Should their commercial finish in the top three, the cash prize (up to $1,000,000.00) could certainly help.

For a behind-the-scenes look at “Casket,” go to www.voteforcasket.com. To vote, be sure to register on the Doritos site at http://www.crashthesuperbowl.com/#/video/4374. You might even win a pair of Super Bowl tickets! But, do it soon, because voting ends January 31st.

As an executive editor, Patti Townley-Covert gave oversight to the
production of a magazine as well as many books including The Cell’s Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator’s Artistry by Fazale Rana and A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test by Kenneth Samples. Her articles have been published in magazines such as Focus on the Family, Decision, and Light and Life. While waiting for God’s next job assignment, Patti is chronicling memoirs of her unusual life at http://pattitownleycovert.blogspot.com. She may be contacted at ptcovert@yahoo.com.


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Special to ASSIST News Service–>

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