Just before the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers game, the 30-second biblical spot popped up to the surprise of football fans.
In that hour, the Look Up 316 website that the commercial advertised drew so much traffic that it was difficult to load the web page.
“The LookUp316.com website hit totals are soaring …,” Larry Taunton, executive director of Fixed Point Foundation, the group behind the ad, tweeted.
The commercial was originally rejected by Fox Sports for containing too much “religious doctrine” and for being too offensive.
Notably, the commercial features no preaching but simply encourages curious viewers to look up John 3:16.
In the television ad, a group of friends are watching a football game in a living room. They cheer when one of the players on defense tackles his opponent. Then a closeup is shown of the defensive player’s eye black where he has painted “John 3:16.” One of the viewers asks his neighbor what that means. After the neighbor shrugs, the viewer offers to look it up for them on his cell phone.
The commercial concludes with “LookUp316.com: A Message of Hope.”