Latest Scientology Super Bowl Ad—“Take A Look”

by ARKANSAS DIGITAL NEWS

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The long-awaited Scientology ad for Super Bowl LVIII appeared before a worldwide audience of billions. The church has made a name for itself with its life-affirming yearly messages of hope, potential and freedom.

Last year’s commercial asserted—through images of a dead forest coming alive, a city rising from ruins, and colors leaping up from a debris-strewn sidewalk—all at a single human touch—that “nothing is more powerful than you.” The year before that, the message that “Deep down you know” was that you’re more than you think you are—in truth, a giant who can rise at any moment—played against a montage of scenes of athletes, artists and working people turning defeat into victory and failure to success. The year before that, during the Covid crisis, the commercial urged the viewer to look past the shadows and shutdowns and focus instead on passion and purpose. Exhilarating images of personal achievement crescendoed to the keystone message that “Nothing is stronger than the human spirit.”

This year, the ad was more personal. It opens with a man facing the camera, looking curiously at something we can’t see. As light snow sprinkles on and about him, we get the idea that he is outside of someplace looking in.

The scene broadens, and we see him looking through the glass entrance of a Church of Scientology. The voiceover says, “Every day, millions of people ask, ‘What is Scientology?’”

The voice continues, “Here’s an idea: What if you just take a look?” as we follow another man walking into what we now see is a Scientology church.

“What if you just see for yourself who we are, what we believe, and what we stand for?” Playing under the voice, we see a person talking to a church staff member and another opening a book. As the commercial continues, we see images—each of them a split-second, but long enough to make an impression. A sign—“See a thought.” The needle on an E-Meter (Scientology’s pastoral counseling device) dial moving. A woman opening a book to a chapter headed “Personal Integrity.” Scientology volunteers in bright yellow windbreakers helping a person out of danger’s way. A board dividing the word “Scientology” into its Latin and Greek derivatives—Scio and Logos while beside it, a wall proclaims, “Life is subdivided into eight dynamics.”

The viewer doesn’t get more than an appetite-whetting taste of these slices of Scientology before the voice continues, “Our doors are open to all people of all faiths in every corner of the world,” over cuts of a diverse mosaic of people pouring in through the door—some wearing the recognizable garb of their religion—and then moving to a quick montage of Scientology churches and facilities throughout the world.

We then see the man we saw at the beginning, the snow lightly falling. He appears to have decided to check it out as the voice continues, “So what is Scientology? Maybe it’s time to look”—as we see other curious, considering faces—“And decide for yourself.” As the music and the images fade out, the screen shows a single word—“Curious?”—and then the church’s website, scientology.org.

This latest ad from the Church of Scientology addresses the viewer specifically and directly. Yes, it says—there is curiosity there, so why not just look for yourself? As the song playing in the background asserts, “Just look inside. You will know it when you see with your own eyes.”

Over the years of Super Bowl ads hawking everything from DoorDash to Doritos, from Popeyes to Pringles—Scientology consistently presents uplifting messages that have set it apart.  And now, this year, we are told, “Hey, the door is open. Take a look.” Doubtless, many will.

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