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Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

New cars, mayhem and sex: lessons from Superbowl commercials


Yesterday’s Superbowl was a fun game to watch as a football fan. It had a lot of sports drama, some great action on the field, the officials called a consistent game and the winner was unknown until the clock hit 00:00. Super-Bowl-2013

As usual, I also found myself enjoying most of the commercials. In fact, this morning I though I’d offer up a few reflections about Overboard living from the Superbowl, based on what I saw during the commercial breaks.

1.  We love our stuff. Why are companies willing to pay $4,000,000 for a :30 second TV spot? Because they know we love our stuff. Cowboys, bikers and showgirls all racing to a Coke mirage is worth $16,000,000 in advertising because Coke knows we love our drinks! Cute babies in space, families having an awesome play date and a boy stealing a kiss at the prom is worth $12,000,000 because Kia, Audi and Hyundai know we love our stuff! (It worked on me. My wife and I will need a new vehicle in the next year or two and now we’re seriously looking at the new 7 passenger Santa Fe!)

The thing is, stuff is fine, but if we want to live the Overboard Life, we must be willing to live with stuff in its proper place in our lives. It’s so easy to let stuff take over, for stuff to become what matters most and to lose sight of the remarkable life God has for us. As we are packing for our move to Michigan, we are realizing just how much stuff we have and just how much we love our stuff. Selling, donating and throwing stuff away has already proved to be invaluable for our family, and we have a long way to go. But it’s good to have a season of making stuff less important, so that what is important can center stage.

2.  Someone at Allstate Insurance is a theologian! Did you see the Mayhem commercial? Wow! The Mayhem character has been interesting over the past couple of years, but during the Superbowl, Allstate gave us a theological lesson in Mayhem’s origin. Starting in the Garden of Eden, Allstate showed us that Mayhem’s origin (Adam and Eve’s original sin) has reeked havoc throughout history. Wars, natural disasters and political conflicts (including a humorous bit about a gift horse!) all the way down to car accidents, home disasters and replacement refs (ha ha) is a result of sin. (Or in this case, Mayhem).


They nailed it. The consequences of sin are felt every day in this world. When we live Overboard, we are choosing to live remarkably, by God’s power, overcoming sin’s power. We don’t have it in us alone to live apart from our own flesh’s desire to sin, but with God’s help we can be victorious over sin and Mayhem!

3.  Sex still sells products. There were a couple of commercials that continue to prove that sex is still a great weapon in the arsenal of advertisers. It’s a sad reflection on our culture, though. Consider this: the Superbowl has become the largest sex trafficking event in the U.S. I read one story about a woman who was kidnapped (here in the U.S.!) and forced into the sex trade. She said on Superbowl weekend she would be asked to sleep with 20-25 men a night or face severe torture from her pimp. Often she was beaten, usually she was raped repeatedly for her “failure” to deliver. She said the worst punishment was having to watch the other women be tortured when they failed.

Sex is a beautiful gift from God, a true treasure given to mankind, that when used for the wrong purposes, has a powerful corrupting element to it. When you live the Overboard Life, you must choose virtuous living that opposes immorality and advocates for those who are oppressed by it. We cannot live Overboard and ignore the plight of those in need of justice and mercy. And of course, the greatest mercy we offer is sharing the love of Jesus Christ who shed His blood for our sins, that we might get to live eternally with Him in a perfect and Just future home.

I’m getting rid of more stuff. I’m trying hard to trust God for victory over sin. And I want to be used by God to bring justice where there is none, and to share the light of Jesus in the deepest places of darkness. I know I have a lot of growing to do, but I'm in process. What about you?

Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water!