The Catholic prayer app Hallow aired its first-ever commercial during Super Bowl LVIII, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs win their second consecutive championship on Feb. 11. Immediately following the airing of the ad, Hallow saw the biggest spike in downloads in its history, according to Alex Jones, CEO of Hallow.
“It was the most downloads in a single minute we’d ever seen,” Jones told CNA. “We’re already ranking ahead of Netflix on the App Store charts and Lent hasn’t even started yet. Glory to God.”
The 30-second ad was shown in 15 markets across the country.
The commercial began with Catholic actor Mark Wahlberg, who recently starred in “Father Stu,” blessing himself with holy water as he enters a church.
“It was a phenomenal night. A dream come true. For the first time ever during the Super Bowl, we all got to take 30 seconds to give thanks to God,” Jones, who is also co-founder of Hallow, told CNA in an interview.
“We’ve been blown away by the responses to the spot,” he said. “We’ve heard from many who were inspired to join us and give prayer a try for the first time in a long time this Lent.”
Jones shared that they were “humbled” to see the response from people, receiving thousands of emails, tweets, and text messages from people sharing their thoughts.
“It was a huge bet for us,” he said. “When we were producing the spot we decided really to just focus on making it all about Jesus — just on spending time in prayer with God. It was amazing to see how the spot resonated with so many. It was an honor to get to pray together and we’re thrilled to continue to pray together with everyone this Lent.”
Another faith-based ad aired during the Super Bowl was created by a nondenominational group with the intention of sharing Jesus’ love to all audiences. “He Gets Us” also aired two commercials during last year’s Super Bowl, which were met with mixed reactions.