The edgy ad hopes that casting Jesus Christ will get people talking about organ donation.
The edgy ad hopes that casting Jesus Christ will get people talking about organ donation.

‘Nailed it’: Controversial ad set to rile Christians

THE director of a controversial new ad promoting organ donation is hoping to spark renewed discussion around organ registration in Australia.

The biblical ad entitled What Would Jesus Do? shows Jesus hanging from the cross in the classic biblical scene, before two guards approach him, sporting full armour and broad Aussie accents.

They want to know if Christ has considered his organ donation options.

"We get it, no one wants to talk about death," says one.

"But your corneas could make blind people see, what a miracle!" says the other.

To which the Son of God replies: "Obviously I will do it. I'm Jesus."

The ad also features cameos from his parents, Joseph and Mary, who think the idea sounds "great", and a selfie with the brand new organ donor: #nailedit.

The ad is sure to step on some religious toes, but director Richard Bullock hopes it will spark an important conversation about organ registration and family consent, saying casting Jesus in the lead part was a calculated decision.

"We chose Jesus to try and show that it's not about whether you're a good or bad person, you might just not know about the process," he told

In Australia, while you can register as an organ donor, doctors still need your family's consent after you die.

"We wanted to raise the issue (and) get people talking to avoid a situation where you're signed up as a donor but your family doesn't say yes at the time," Bullock said.

Australia has some of the best transplant surgeries in the world, but some of the lowest numbers of registered donors, an issue that sparked's Take A Minute, Save a Life campaign earlier this year.

Bullock said the real issue boiled down to a lack of awareness.

"Many Australians don't even realise that the old system of registering on your driver's licence was abolished in most states, and that families have to consent to a registered donor's organs being used," he said.

Any family unaware of their loved one's organ registration has a 50 per cent chance of vetoing the transplant, and Bullock hopes his ad will help change that using a combination of comedy and shock-value.

"If you're going to have to have a conversation with your loved one about organ donation, when are you gonna do that?" he said. "Using comedy sneaks you under the door and into that conversation."

The short film is also being used to advertise the feature documentary Dying to Live, which explores the lives of those awaiting life saving transplants. The project hopes to boost the numbers of registered donors to reduce waiting lists across the country.

Bullock hopes his ad will draw enough attention to boost a very serious issue into the public eye - even in a week where all eyes will be on the royal family visiting Australia.

"If Jesus gets attention on the day Meghan and Harry landed, well that's a miracle," he said.

The campaign is not endorsed or funded by the Australian Government Organ and Tissue Authority, nor has the Authority had anything to do with its production.

The Authority has provided advice for the production of a separate film promoting organ donation called Dying to Live.