There is a class of entertainment that is dedicated to changing the way you think, what you want, buy and NEED. They seek to change your viewpoint and convert you to new positions. At the same time, they want you to realize how sick you are, how ugly you are, how boring you are and how they offer the solution to turning all that around. In 30 to 60 seconds, they want you to change on a fundamental level…or at least, until you next go shopping. They are commercials.

Advertising = a specific communication strategy designed to shape consumer action towards, or opinions about, particular products or services

Early commercials were little more than people reading into microphones, but quickly moved into sketches and animation.

One of the most famous commercials of all time is for a product that never even existed.

Prescription drug commercials are notorious for their lists of side effects, but are there side effects to just watching them? It seems like there are very few limits to what can be discussed in an advertisement these days.

Christian Psychotherapy Services: http://www.christianpsychotherapy.com/Mobile/index.html

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:19-27)

Information on the Legends of Tomorrow mixed race episode, “Night of the Hawk” can be found here.

This Cheerios commercial features a multiracial family, but doesn’t call attention to it. That didn’t stop some from complaining!

My denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, discussed a corporate apology for racism in church history, which spawned a number of interesting articles, including this one from Christianity Today.

This hilarious Doritos ultrasound commercial had the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) tweeting mad. Interesting story regarding the making of the commerical here, including an introduction to the real life baby that NARAL would have us believe wasn’t alive.

Rocket Mortgage seems to be encouraging debt as if it is the solution to the country’s economic woes.

There is quite a bit of scripture on being proper stewards, not only on the fruits of the Spirit, but of the blessings that God grants us. Here are some examples from Dave Ramsey’s website:

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-30)

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

“Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” (Proverbs 21:20)

For an excellent examination of how Christians are called to handle finances, check out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

I said in the show that I would put some links to examples of PeTA’s shock advertising campaigns, but I wasn’t able to find any that I would consider PG13 or better. So, if you decide to go digging for it, brace yourself and ensure that you keep the Spirit in your mind.

There are other examples of shock advertising, such as this advert that appeared only on the tops of city buses in New York City and San Francisco:


“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:11-14)

Since the dawn of television, an entire industry has grown up around advertising consisting not only of the advertisers themselves, but support of the industry like specialized education and dedicated data mining. There are great forces leveled against us to bend us to someone else’s will. We need to be critical of everything we watch—even between the scenes—and between the lines—of our shows and movies. Be sure to keep your critical thinking cap on while the commercials play—it is more important than ever!

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About the Author
Disciple of the Christ, husband of one, father of four, veteran of the United States Army and geek to the very core, Tim remembers some of the 1970s and and still tries to forget much of the 1980s. He spends his days working as a Cisco technician in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and too many nights in the clutches of a good story, regardless of the delivery method.

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