He Gets Us – Funeral Home Marketing Lessons from a Superbowl ad

Superbowl games are typically one-sided, with most people ignoring the game by the second half and instead focusing on the food everybody brought. 

For many people, the night’s highlight is the commercials. Some are hilarious, and others are stupid, but they all cost millions of dollars to run. In 2023, it was $7 million dollars to run a 30-second commercial. Ouch! 

The most talked about ads this year were from an organization called He Gets Us.

Their website (hegetsus.com) states, “He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.”

Stop! Don’t click away. I’m not going into preacher mode!

Every business owner should keep their eyes out for good marketing. If something catches your attention, you should study it and try to learn valuable lessons.

Whether you like their message or not is irrelevant. The key point is that He Gets Us is an excellent advertising campaign which means there are lessons we can learn and potentially apply to marketing your funeral home.

He Gets Us ran two commercials. Their first ad was a 30-second commercial that ran before the game. This ad featured children and had a very warm tone to it.

The second ad was a 60-second commercial that ran during halftime. This one was more aggressive, featuring adults doing things you would never let your kids get away with.

The combination of the two ads created a buzz in the media and drove a ton of traffic to their website.

First, I’ll outline what I think they got right and then apply it to funeral home marketing.

What they got right…

1 – Their messaging was masterful. 

The 30-second child-centric message was a perfect warm-up to an audience. Who doesn’t love seeing kids being nice to each other? 

Then, rather than just rerunning the same commercial during halftime, they ran a hard-hitting ad specifically targeted to the adults in the room.

It was an excellent one-two punch that left the audience wondering what had just hit them.

2 – They had excellent next steps

At the end of the 30-second child-focused commercial, the following URL was displayed on the screen for millions of viewers.


Here’s the URL they showed after the 60-second adult-focused commercial.


I guarantee that some marketing analytics geek poured over the data to see which commercial brought more traffic to their URLs.

3 – They took a position

The third major thing they did right was they took a position. Yes, it was controversial, but it became a significant news story because they took a position on an important subject (i.e., the state of society).

The funny thing is that based on the feedback and comments they received online, their message alienated people on both the right and left ends of the spectrum. But that’s ok. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a position so you can find your audience.

So what can funeral home owners learn from this campaign?

Funeral Home Marketing Lessons from the He Gets Us campaign.

1 – Fix your messaging

Just saying that you’re the most caring and compassionate funeral home in town stopped working 30 years ago. Your advertising is a waste of money if you don’t have a compelling message that gives people a reason to choose your funeral home.

By the way, saying that you’ve been serving families since 1920 doesn’t mean anything to today’s funeral customers.

2 – Always include a next step that you can track

99% of funeral home ads conclude with the phone number and website. The hope is that they will remember you when they need you (they won’t).

A better approach is to include a unique URL to each marketing campaign and gives them a next step they can take now. Then, you’re able to track your website traffic via the URL, and you’ll be attracting people who, for whatever reason, are interested in evaluating a funeral home.

3 – Take a position and defend the value you bring to society

For far too long, good funeral home owners have allowed others to control the narrative. Sometimes it’s the press, and sometimes it’s another funeral home that does such a lousy job that families will never consider any funeral home ever again.

If you’re a funeral home owner who provides families with an excellent funeral experience, you need to craft a good message and get it out there. It’s time to defend the value you bring to society before it’s too late.

But remember that the best defense is a good offense. You won’t have to spend time defending a funeral’s value if you deliver an excellent funeral experience to every family you serve.

Until next time


PS: This year’s Superbowl game was great. It was one of the few times I’ve enjoyed both the commercials and the game!


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