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Here’s the controversial new Red Bull ad about Jesus that has been taken off air in SA after just one day [video]
Posted by on Mar 14th, 2012

Red Bull have removed their new television ad ‘ Jesus Walks On Water’ after it aired in South Africa on Monday night. The ad depicts Jesus walking on water and then saying ‘Jesus’ as he slips on a stepping stone.

No guesses as to who the complaining parties are who have said the ad is offensive.

Here’s the ad.

The SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference called for the ad to be removed after several complaints.

“In an official response email received by Gateway News this evening, Red Bull says the ad, which was broadcast on South African television last night “was part of our regular Red Bull series, is now off air and has now been followed by another”.

The email says Red Bull has “looked at well-known themes with a twinkle in the eye” for over 20 years. It says it was never its intention to hurt anyone’s feelings and that it regrets that people have been offended by the ad.

The advert depicts a cartoon “Jesus” in a boat with two disciples. He proclaims he is bored and steps out of the boat and walks on the water.” [Gateway News]

Sigh.

Should the ad have been removed?

Graham says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Jesus, its brilliant.

Stacky says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

HAHAHA! Jesus that brilliant, I see what you did there!

Tony says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

The advert is disgusting. Especially since they decided to screen it during Lent.

Imagine the fallout should this have been a rip-off of Mohammed during Ramadan?

Not cool at all.

Savage says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Yep…spot on there Tony. Timing of the ad is in poor taste as is the religious reference. It’s worth noting too that the SACBC stated that it recieved compliants from all faiths and religions.

Companies really should stay away from making any religious references, but the sad reality is that the advertisers and marketing people are well aware of the exposure they will recieve from including it. It’s most certainly not a case of lets make this ad and see what happens. Happened in the past and will no doubt happen again in the future. Sex, religion and race gets front page coverage and brands are well aware of this.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Yeah Savage, Red Bull definitely has a poor taste, its far to sweet. However, the double standard applied by religion to make judgements about just about everything and then complain when an ad comes out making a joke is slightly harder to stomach. But we should definitely think about living in a country controlled by the majority where everything else is censored. Sounds like a lot of fun actually. Let’s brainwash people through fear to all think the same thing and if someone jokes about it publicly lets complain so they cant do it anymore because it offends us that people believe something different. Maybe we should get government to pass a bill of law to censor the media and advertising. I mean they have one to protect corrupt government officials why not the church?

Bianca says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Spot on Chris!!

Zelna Vermaak says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

This left such a bad taste in my mouth. I will never set my lips on another Red Bull again or ANYTHING made by the company.

konfytbekkie says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Who is Red Bull SAs advertising agency? It’s not like they wouldn’t have known it would cause a shit storm. Bit of a cheap shot too, the pun being around your average adolescent level of humour.

I say pull it. Lazy work from the agency, going for controversy instead of a solid creative idea. Red Bulls ads used to be brilliant, but the last few years they’ve become lame and watered down. They should rather have put the money towards a fresh, newly thought-out campaign because honestly, the scribbled drawings and “gives you wiiiiings” is nearly as archaic as the Catholic church itself.

Bianca says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Ha ha! I think the ad is funny and clever. People need to relax, if your faith is so strong you shouldn’t be offended by a little light humour, it’s not as though this ad will shake the foundations of your religion and banish innocents to hell, what are you afraid of? Im sure God favours the sound of laughter over the sound of judgments.

charlotte says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I can only pray for your soul, you obviously did not read the Bible should not the Father in Heaven thy mercy, everyone will pay for the work they did on earth. At Alas, the world of the children of God and mock us laugh. The one who laughs last laughs the best as we in peace with Jesus worship and honor HIM for alles.Ons children of God back to the New Jerusalem where there will be only peace and no BLASPHEMY LONGER

Cake Pop says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Charlotte, you need to get laid… Perhaps by the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Helmar says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

@Bianca: Triple like!

Bianca says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

:)

Chad says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Bianca, lets you and i be best friends. :)

Bianca says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Yay! Bestie! :)

Adeline Brooks says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Dear Bianca,

God faviours laugther over judgement yes, but certainly not over the miracles that was written in the Word of God, which is the Bible. That is purely making fun of it. That is not right to make fun of the miracles that had happened. That was written for Christians as a guideline and example on how we have to live our lives, the Bible is our life source. That is why we are sensitive about it, please don’t make fun of this publicly, this is bad taste and I do not see this as humour.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Oh please Adelin have you even read the old testament? Not make fun of…. Should we then take it literally? Adam and Eve? Noah and his Ark and all the other fairy tails of the Bible. Should we then not question and be critical of one of the most vengeful and violent books in history that has lead to more death, destruction, and hate in the name of religion. Your overprotective almost zealot like stance on protecting the Bible from any sort of questioning and ridicule is the cause of religious tension that has existed for thousands of years and continues to exist to this day with almost no hope and end in sight. But in true religious fashion you shift the burden on to those questioning or poking fun by claiming its some sort of miracle and shame on you for questioning it….. I congratulate you on your inability to open your mind…….

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Adeline,
Are you suggesting that all Christians should follow the “guidance” handed down in the “Good Book”?
As an example King David committed many sins with just one situation. He lusted after Bathsheba when he saw her naked on her rooftop – she was taking a bath. He had sex with her and she became pregnant. When King David found out, he attempted to cover it up by having Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, come home and lay with Bathsheba. However, Uriah refused, so King David sent Uriah to the front lines of the war and he was killed. King David was guilty of lust, adultery, and murder.
He is considered a Saint, the most revered amongst humans, by the Christian Religion. This probably explains why so much evil is perpetrated by Christians. Their Saints were not exactly Saints.
I cannot understand the slavish adherence to the writings of Bible which promotes and rewards evil. Now, I know this will raise the ire of the many armchair Christian’s reading this, but can you reconcile the Sainthood of extremely evil David?

Paul says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

@Adam: you forgot to mention the part where God punishes him for what he did. Why are you doing that; why are you quoting the scriptures out of context? You’re picking out bits and pieces out of the bible to suit yourself. Shame on you!!!

Ronel Piani says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

An old joke that they modified (It was not about Jesus). Not very original for such a large company. They should not ridicule with peoples’ religion – this will cost them millions of sales…….

konfytbekkie says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Agree with you there, and I said it in my comment too: lazy advertising. Though let’s not get into the lack of standards in SA advertising as that is a whole other can of worms that is too depressing to open.

Point it, they knew they would get a reaction. Ironically, the more we talk about it, the more reaction they get etc. While the adage of “any publicity is good publicity” isn’t strictly speaking true (ask Woolies about their take on old school soft drinks, for instance), in this case Red Bull is getting loads of free press, word of mouth and even though the ad was pulled, I’m pretty sure they’re getting their money’s worth.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

How could anyone complain about this we all know the catholic church are a bunch of douche bags. It’s just a way for them to deflect attention away from the pedophile scandals and their moronic stance on women’s reproductive rights onto something like a red bull add. Douche bags. And really if there was a god then the add is ok because it was made by one if gods’s creations.

Tony says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Your argument is unsound.

On one hand you say that since the advert is created by one of God’s creatures and that since God is good, the advert is good and Christians have no right to complain. On the other hand you bemoan the Catholic Church – which by your very own extrapolation is a creation by one of God’s creatures and thus it also must be good.

To take your very own argument further, it means that since pedophiles are created by God then they are good and so are their actions – and I am very sure that is not what you meant to say.

Your argument therefore makes no sense, and should therefore wholly be disregarded.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Ah, that’s because you have failed to infer the irony in my comment about being one of gods creations. You also fail to realise that you and religious people like you use that argument when it suits you to explain away things. But that’s ok because your obvious inability to reason properly is god given and therefore there is little you can do about it.

Savage says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Sigh…we should all just have a giant group hug and then drink beer. Lots of beer. No need to get angry or insulting. Regardless of your religious beliefs we should respect each as human beings. I’d like to think that all of you are good people and that we can all get along.

Kevin says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hey you moron, would you have the balls to poke the same fun at the Muslim faith? I seriously doubt it for it’s people like you who always have a lot to say but choose to remain faceless for fear of being recognised for what you are.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Oh Kevin I am an equal opportunity poker. I think all religion is equally ridiculous. I am actually just as afraid of Christian fanatics as I am of Muslim ones but thank you for inadvertantly proving a point for me. That Christians and people in the west view Muslims as violent and Christians as righteous. Personally I think the Norse gods had it. They were all about War

Kevin says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hey Chris you should learn to spell before joining in adult conversation.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Kevin, I apologise I was on an i phone and I have fat fingers. I just can’t believe that you would openly accuse Muslims of being violent. So judgmental of you.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Oh and Kevin if you need a hug we can exchange emails meet up and hug it out. PS: I have friends of all faiths but for some odd reason its only the Christian ones that annoy me because they are the only ones who openly try to push their religion, like drug dealers, and I hate drug dealers. My Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, friends for some reason don’t I really can’t figure it out can you enlighten me as to why its only Christian based faiths and those pesky Mormons who push religion. Shoot i lost my checkbook………

Kevin says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Careful Chris. Where did I mention that Muslims were a violent people? I have a very close friend who is a Muslim. Anyway I don’t need to get into a discussion with you.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Now Kevin if you read your first post you say would I say that to a Musim. What were you saying exactly? That they are non violent peace lovers who welcome jest about their religion or were you saying it because you implying they are violent and should therefore be afraid? Now Kevin don’t be a complete ass at least admit when you say something. Coward

Keith says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Youre such a dick!always the anti catholics that have the most say-doos.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

What’s a say-doo?

konfytbekkie says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Just had a thought…quite sneaky of Red Bull. Making an ad costs a boatload of cash, but airing the ad costs another few boatloads. So basically they make one ad which they know will grab the short attention span of SA social media, air it for a few days (well, even less, it turns out) and then it gets pulled. So no more costs involved with putting it on TV.

Sneaky russians.

Honest Annie says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I think it’s bizarre that religious people try to hold the rest of the world to their standards. If I don’t believe in Jesus, what reason do I have not to make a joke about him? The same applies to Mohammed, Buddha, Zeus, Ra, Odin, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and whoever else you want to throw in there.

Your faith is your personal belief. I’ll respect that it’s yours, but I don’t have to treat your deity with the same level of deference that you’re required to because I’m not a member of your faith. I’ll continue to think of God along the same lines as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and everything else I consider imaginary.

Really, Christianity seems to consist 90% of being offended by everything.

Jade says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Agreed.

Bianca says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I wish this was my comment! Well said Honest Annie!

Andy says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Wow Annie, you sure are ignorant! Its not people’s standards but standards set by God by which His people live! It is clear you are anti Christ and God! The very Jesus who paid your debt, a debt you could never repay!

Mike says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I am a protestant and this ad is a combination of an old joke about three ministers in a fishing boat and the miracle event in the gospels. Although it in no way follows the miracle story. I do agree that the ad is in bad taste, because of poor timing (Lent); also because we constantly find ourselves not knowing where to draw the line. Fundamental to the account in the gospels is the notion that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet, Red Bull in its all its wisdom allowed their advertising agency to create this sorry advert. One might overlook the advert if that’s where it ended, but to have the character Jesus stumble and then take his own name in vain, is just plain provocative. If this was a scenario knocking any other major religion, we would be hearing from them as well. So please…a little more respect?

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Rubbish and pure hypocrisy. You talk about being provocative. Anything provocative about the recent stance by the Catholic Church in the US surrounding women’s rights to contraception. The fact that in the debates over the issue not a single woman was represented. What about the scandals and hiding of the problem of pedophilia in the Catholic Church. But really a Red Bull add at Lent, you consider provocative. You as a Christian are asking for more respect? Now that’s provocative. After thousands of years of disrespect to other cultures, races, religions, you have the audacity to ask for respect because of a silly advertisement. But I am sure you will find some way to justify how you are in the right.

Sean says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I hardly think this ad is going to cost them ‘millions of sales’

The world today moves by the day…by the end of this week no one will care about this anymore and we’ll all still be drinking Red Bull.

Look at the Woolworths/Frankies debate…Woolworths has hardly gone bankrupt after nearly everyone on Twitter said they would boycott them. In fact, I was in a queue at Woolies the other day that put the Great Wall Of China to shame.

Remember Durex making those sexist jokes on Twitter? Look how that hurt their sales. It didn’t.

We live in a world where hardly anything is taboo anymore. If you don’t like something, don’t use it. Don’t watch the advert, don’t drink Red Bull and all will be good with the world again.

konfytbekkie says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

“Like”

Jade says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Amen to that. Mediocre work on every level.

charlotte says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

We can only pray for those who think it is very funny. God in his word that his children to come upon them the judgment, you clearly do not read the Bible not to the Father in Heaven you mercy, everyone will pay for the work they did on earth. At Alas, the world, the children of God and mock us laugh, it happens not complain. I will stand up to my God in Heaven and I’m not afraid of His name to die .. The one who laughs last laughs the best as we in peace with Jesus worship and honor HIM for alles.Ons children of God back to the New Jerusalem where there will be only peace and no BLASPHEMY LONGER. Ezekiel 7:3 Now the end of thee, and my wrath against you and send you judge your ways and your abominations recompense thee;
Ezekiel 7:8 Now will I shortly my fury upon you and pour out my wrath upon thee, and accomplish your judgment in your ways and your abominations recompense thee.
Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed, in the regeneration when the Son of man on his glorious throne, you also on twelve thrones sits the twelve tribes of Israel will judge.
Reve 1:3¶ Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy, and those who hear and keep the things written, because the time is near.

All this things must happend be the comming of Jesus the King!!!!

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Charlotte, really you are quoting scripture? The truth is the greatest trick the devil played was to have man write the bible. From it death destruction and wars would arise. People would be seperated by belief and hate would filter down. And if you doubt me god will judge you on redemption day. Prove me wrong….. You can’t because I have faith I am justified in my belief. I wonder if any of this sounds strange to you

greg says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

HAHA come on charlotte u dilusional creature you :) a bunch of sheep

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Charlotte,
Are you a supporter of the Lord’s Resistance Army?

BrettRexB says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

This ad should never have been aired, not because i find it in any way offensive, but because it is seven shades of apocalyptic sh*te. if the son of god won’t drink a red bull, why should i? i’m gonna go down a 700ml Monster and headbang to Sabertoot instead.

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Haha. I love religious debate. As Chris points out, it is hardly ever initiated by Jews, Muslims, Confucians, Taoists, etc, but by “holier than thou” Christians. Perhaps the Lord will smite the Red Bull toting heathens and remedy this entire situation. Perhaps some pestilence? I hope we get to see it on TV. What fun!

Tony says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Adam

Are you saying the “holier than thou” Christians went rampaging in Afghanistan earlier this month because someone burnt a few bibles by mistake? Or the Christians rioted throughout the world when a cartoonist drew pictures of Jesus?

Interesting.

Chris says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Tony now all joking aside, do you realise that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have religious connotations from both sides? Your very shallow belief that Christians are blameless in modern religious war is so incredibly self righteous and proves so much about modern Christian hypocrisy. No one is saying that other religions are blameless we are in fact pointing out that religion as a whole is to blame but for whatever reason it’s socially acceptable for Christians in general to be the biggest hypocrites and god forbid if anyone criticzes or pokes fun at Christianity.

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Tony,
You are quite correct to point out the actions of religious extremist and ignorant masses across all religions. My view is that blind, ignorant “faith” that forms the basis of most religions is the cause of so much bigotry, prejudice and violence.
My point is rather the trivial and often extreme reaction of Christians at any perceived “slight” against their religion. Not all Christians are uptight jerks, and there is much good work undertaken by some of them. Unfortunately there is also much evil perpetrated under the guise of Christianity (and other religions). Beliefs are personal choice and I don’t judge. Actions taken because of those beliefs are, however, subject to critical review.
I do not believe in a “greater being” nor Santa Claus, but I can only make jokes about Santa for fear of attack. Why are zealots so precious about their religious beliefs and demand that others conform? I have seldom experienced an over-reaction on topics such as extra-terrestrial life? Surely this is a subject of belief?
Religious belief is OK as long as it is kept to yourself and others are not judged by their conformity.

greg says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Haha Nice one Bianca 😀
These folks need to chill out hey…..stop believing in fairy tales people!!!! Jesus was a hippy! he’s having a lekker laugh now ….and a puff of the doobie!

Badness says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

I am not impressed. Not one single bit.
This clearly shows no respect for the Lord and to Christianity.
How can you portray one of Jesus Miracles to have been fake? What exactly is Redbull implying about Jesus? That he was fake?
This has practically angered my Faith. It should be banned and removed from any Media site IMMEDIATELY!!
Redbull is not a Religion.

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

To all you Christians out there, can you explain your wonderful Lord’s work when 22 children who are barely 12 die in a devastating bus crash in Switzerland following a Christian ski outing?

Goodman says:
March 03, 2012 at 8:00 am

Jesus is cool…..why all the noise

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