While recently visiting a commercial website, I noticed the following advertisement prominently displayed on the homepage:
It was animated and each line appeared as if Zack and Jo were actually chatting. “i had a question no one would answer :-(” Really?
Here is the thing: that ad is a bit embarrassing. After saving a screen shot for posterity, one of the first things I thought, was: “Well, what ad wouldn’t suck?” There isn’t a simple answer. Church ads shouldn’t act like there is nothing going on. We are advertising a Church, and a weird one at that. The Church is rolling out a new Mormon.org this summer, with an associated new advertising push. I have high hopes. But I’d like to do an exercise, in exploration.
What ad wouldn’t suck? I pitched the question to Scott and he came up with a great concept, which I share with you. The hook isn’t, “we have all the answers.” We don’t, and most smart people will realize that. One possible hook is, at least for me, “We are not making this up”:
I can think of a number of Joseph Smith one-liners that would be great…as well as some that probably wouldn’t work so well.
Good: “I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm, and administering to the poor & dividing his substance, than the long smoothed faced hypocrites.”
Probably not so good: “Wo, wo, wo to christendom.”
Now any Mormon advertisement online should link to a place that includes a page with simple formatting that includes a brief paragraph on why we are advertising (open and honest), as well as:
- A link to a brief history of the Church
- A link to a brief explanation of current beliefs
- A link to a brief explanation of current practices
- A contact link (email, IM, whatever)
Feel free to share your ads that don’t suck.