A 15-second television ad for CNN’s iPhone app uses an instrumental version of the well-known Christian spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
The spot, which has been running for the past weeks, highlights some of the capabilities of the app, shows pairs of hands accessing video clips, weather reports, and CNN live video. A short electric guitar and drums rendition of Christian hymn played as the hands moved across the screen. The slogan, “CNN: In Your Hands,” flashed across the screen at the end of the commercial.
A blog of the Burlington Free Press reported on October 14, 2009 that Aaron Flinn, a musician from Charlotte, Vermont, “sold his ukulele/vocal version of ‘He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands’ to CNN for commercials for their new iPhone application. He says they were looking for some ‘unique, stylized versions’ of that tune.” In another version of the commercial for their iPhone app, CNN uses a hip-hop rendition of the spiritual.
It’s interesting, to say the least, that the left-leaning network (which launched its iPhone app in September 2009) would use a song about God having the entire world in his hands in one of its commercials, since it has also promoted the latest book by militant atheist Richard Dawkins.