The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism Urges Super Bowl Viewers to Speak Up Against Hate

The 30-second spot stars Clarence B. Jones, speechwriter for Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism’s first Super Bowl ad, a 30-second plea to Americans to speak up in the face of “Jewish hate and all hate,” ran during the second quarter of the Big Game on Feb. 11.

The nonprofit, founded by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, aims to counter a noted rise in antisemitic hate in the U.S. over the last several years. It also comes at a moment of historically high tensions amid the ongoing and deadly war between Israel and Hamas.

Pointing to the “skyrocketing” rise in Jewish hate in the U.S., “We have to spread our message of empathy,” Tara Levine, president of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) said. “We have to inspire all Americans to stand up to Jewish hate and stand up to all hate. And for us, there’s no better place for us to reach this broad audience than at the Super Bowl.”

Aligning with the Civil Rights Movement

By running an ad that stars Civil Rights leader Clarence B. Jones, the group is making a connection between hate that targets many different minority groups in the U.S. Jones worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., drafting parts of King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

FCAS’s strategy is two-prong, Levine explained: “First, building empathy among non-Jewish audience. And the second is giving them the tools to move from being bystanders to upstanders.”

Foundation to Combat Antisemitism

The group also aims to demonstrate what it calls a “very proud history of a partnership” between Black and Jewish communities, Levine said, especially among younger Americans.

Similar to He Gets Us, the Christian group that has two ads in the Big Game this year, FCAS’s “Silence” spot uses an effective strategy that juxtaposes a highly emotional spot with a message that precludes counter argument, said Christie Nordhielm, marketing professor at Georgetown University.

“It’s just emotionality, and then juxtaposition, and then move on,” Nordhielm explained. “You decrease counterargument, slip the information in.”

FCAS was founded in 2019 by Kraft with an initial $20 million investment. Last year, the group gained $200 million more in funding (half of which came from Kraft), and ran a $25 million initial campaign, “Stand Up to Jewish Hate.”

Antisemitic incidents increased by 337% between Oct. 7, when Hamas militants attacked Israeli citizens, and Dec. 11, 2023, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

But it’s not the only group facing hate as tensions rise amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which has resulted in around 1,600 Israeli deaths and over 28,000 Palestinian deaths since Oct. 7. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it received 774 reports of bias incidents and requests for help from Muslims across the U.S. from Oct. 7 to Oct. 24.

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out ADWEEK’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.

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