Asbury Grad Scores Big Return on Football Ad

In the midst of ads featuring talking animals and pizza, a television spot that aired during the Broncos/Patriots football game just more than a week ago caught the attention of millions of viewers with a message that hasn’t changed in 2,000 years.

Josh Taber ’07, an executive assistant and project manager for Coldwater Media, produced a 30-second ad that featured the words to the Bible verse found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

The ad can be viewed at Coldwater Media’s Web site here.

“While it's fun to see your work broadcast nationally to a viewing audience of more than 35 million, it's even more exciting to see the core of the gospel message shared in such a primetime television spot,” Taber said. “People are hungry for wholesome, uplifting material on TV and were pleasantly surprised when they saw and heard John 3:16 come on in the middle of a big NFL playoff game.”

The idea for the ad came after Tim Tebow, a Broncos quarterback and widely recognized Christian known for painting John 3:16 in his eyeblack as a college player, threw the football for 316 yards against the Pittsburg Steelers on Jan. 9.  After the game, “John 3:16” was the most searched-for term on Google.

Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, asked Coldwater Media to produce the commercial in about 48 hours. The production team put out a call for kids and shot video for four hours. One all-nighter, three network approval attempts and one middle-of-the-night plane ride later, the ad made it to New York City in time to be aired during the game.

“There was an outpouring of positive comments across Twitter and Facebook,” Taber said. “There were accounts of rooms becoming silent, kids wanting to see the ad over and over and accounts that some even dedicated their lives to Christ after watching it.”

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