#MakeitHappy – the Coke ad with a lesson
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{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ibgvkXm9Qkc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}We spent Sunday night with the rest of America, watching the Super Bowl with our friends.  The commercials have become almost as interesting as the game itself.  Those ads were a little different this year.  We all noticed the change and discussed it Sunday night.  There were a lot of ads about the more important issues of life, like family, parenting, and social awareness.  The Coca-Cola ad this year was aimed at the Internet “trolls” and I have to admit, I liked it!

An Internet troll, according to the Urban Dictionary, is “A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues. Such arguments can happen on blogs, Facebook, Myspace and a host of others.”  We have had a few “trolls” at the Denison Forum, especially when we have written on subjects like homosexuality or atheism.  The Internet offers a wall of protection for free speech that enables people to say things in writing, they would never say in person.  The end result is that people can be hurt by someone they don’t know, and that doesn’t know them.  This year’s Coca Cola ad addressed that problem in a creative, and apparently popular ad campaign.

The Coca Cola Super Bowl ad shows someone working at a large computer server.  He spills his Coke into the machine.  The end result is that the people who are viewing videos, text messages and e-mails through that server are impacted.  The angry words and pictures are changed by Coca Cola into happier messages.  The commercial included the words, “The world is what we make it.  #MakeitHappy.”

A Forbes magazine article discussed this new ad campaign.  The ads are intended to target millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 37.  The Forbes article included some interesting statistics: “Millennials have the highest penetration of Internet usage at 93 percent. Additionally, 84 percent of millennials are accustomed to accessing information via social media.”  I found those numbers fascinating, especially because our ministry is largely about placing God’s biblical perspective on the Internet.

However, it was another statement in the Forbes article that caused me to write this blog post.  The author said, “While Coca-Cola is busy making the Internet a happier place, it will also earn brand love from millennials, who are passionate about critical issues and want to find ways to engage in cause campaigns.  In fact, affiliation with a cause is more important to millennials than to any previous generation. They want to make a difference in the world, and even more so, they want to see brands supporting the causes in which they believe in. For millennials, corporate social responsibility is no longer just an option; it’s a requirement.”  

My sons and their wives are millennials, we work with some outstanding millennials in our office and we have been in settings that have enabled us to hear people from this age group speak.  I would agree with the Forbes article. This is an interesting and outstanding generation.  The Christian millennials are heavily outnumbered.  So were the early Christians, and look what they accomplished.  The Christian millennials are heavily involved in the Internet and social media and often look for answers in those mediums.  The Denison Forum is helping them find biblical answers and spiritual help.  First15, written by my son Craig, has impacted his generation and others in amazing ways.

My next ministry project is overwhelming at this point, but very exciting.  We are going to build out a new Christian parenting website.  I will tell you more about this at a later date, but would you be in prayer for this endeavor?  A friend once said, “Attempt something so big that it is doomed to fail unless God be in it.”  That is how I feel about this new website.  Young moms are looking for answers on the Internet.  I want them to access this new website in the future and find biblical answers for parenting and a community of like-minded friends.

The Coca Cola ad was a great reminder of the power of the Internet to spread both help and harm, and the need we all have to use it for a higher purpose.  Coca Cola is telling the world to “make it happy” and I like their message.  My message would be #MakeitHoly.  

The apostle Peter was reminding the early church of God’s word to the people of Israel.  Peter wrote, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:15-16).  I think we should do all we can to spread happiness in the world.  Christians should do everything possible to share the greatest joy available in life.  True happiness is found in living a life that is holy and blessed.  

Please pray for my new parenting website and all the necessary preparation ahead.  I want God to use it for his Kingdom purpose.  And, as I write these words, I am praying that each of you will be encouraged to share holiness within your circle of influence.  If you are a fan of Twitter…share a verse or a thought using the hashtag #MakeitHoly.  There is a LOT all of us can do to share God’s message with our world.

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