What This Super Bowl Commercial Gets Wrong About Human Dignity

ia’s Super Bowl commercial aimed to humanize the automobile company through beautiful cinematography and dramatic script spoken through the southern accent of a young boy in a cowboy hat. It emphasized the small Georgian town that hosts a Kia assembly plant. There is a line in the commercial that should offend our deepest convictions about human dignity, particularly for those who hold a biblical worldview.

“We’re just a small Georgia town of complete unknowns,” the young boy says, “because we are not known for who we are. We hope to be known for what we do.” This line is sad for at least a couple of reasons.

First, the commercial assumes that an obscure town in Georgia has to some how prove itself. It doesn’t. It is not inferior because it is eighty-miles away from Atlanta. Rural life is not inherently less significant than metropolitan life.

Second, and more importantly, human dignity does not come from what we do. As Dr. Suess reminded us, “A person is a person no matter how small.” If we locate the center of our identity or our dignity in what we do, and not who we are, then when we can no longer do what we do, when the Kia plant closes or moves overseas for example, then we lose our dignity and our worth.

This is a good point for Christians to be reminded that the Bible doesn’t place our worth in our output. We are not valuable because live in a major city. We are not valuable because we live in a rural village. We are not valuable because of our products. We are not valuable because of our exports. We are valuable because we are humans. From conception to cradle to grave, we have intrinsic worth because we are created in the image of God. Full stop.

Photo by Fachry Zella Devandra on Unsplash