Our search for evidence of the transcendent is well documented throughout history. From the Shroud of Turin to the image of Mary on toast, the human heart longs for connection to the divine. This desire was the basis for Tide’s Super Bowl commercial “Miracle Stain,” in which a football fanatic slops salsa on his jersey and sees the image of Joe Montana. The jersey is enshrined, drawing the masses to pay homage to the miracle at the newly developed Montanaland… until the jersey gets laundered with Tide, thereby removing every trace of the stain—and the divine.
Isn’t that what makes the religious suspect to the non-religious? Some may see a parallel between the football fanatic and Christians. Perhaps some people think that Christian faith is no more substantial than a salsa stain. But are other pursuits, such as football or power or good deeds, any different? This humorous, clever TV spot speaks to our heart’s tendency to turn our passions into near-religious devotion. But not all faith objects are made equal. Some are easily washed away; others stand the test of time, and eternity.
You did notice, as Russ Breault did yesterday, the final message in the ad? Is the message about soap or what?