Archive for the ‘Consumer Ads with Religious Themes’ Category

h1

Drive a Vespa—no social stigma attached

December 12, 2007

Vespa PriestsThis is a great one that goes all the way back to 1965! Three real priests from Glendale, Ohio got around town on their scooters. Says the Vespa ad: “You could hardly call them wild ones. But you could say that they’re wildly practical.” Nobody will get the wrong idea about you, and they certainly will not “scoot up and ask if you want to drag for beers.” In fact, you can drive a Vespa and “maintain your dignity.” Hmmm…Vespa, vespers. Click here to view the large version.

Advertisements
h1

The Xerox brothers 30 years ago

December 6, 2007

Xerox monkIn 1976, Xerox launched a unique and highly successful ad campaign for their duplicators. This “monk” appeared in many of them, and became the “face” of the campaign. These fellas appeared on T-shirts and other promotional items, too. The concept was absolutely inspired. See the full 2-page spread.

h1

No blessing in Italy for Red Bull commercial

December 6, 2007

Cbgrace alerted us to this “brew” haha. It seems that Red Bull drink was advertised in a TV commercial (seen here on YouTube) recently in a high-energy version of the nativity story that introduces a fourth wise man. According to a Reuters story, Father Marco Damanti from Sicily has convinced the company to pull its commercial from Italian television, denouncing the spot as disrespectful and blasphemous.

“The image of the sacred family has been represented in a sacrilegious way,” Father Damanti told Corriere della Sera. “Whatever the ironic intentions of Red Bull, the advert pokes fun at the nativity, and at Christian sensitivity.”

The priest also objected to the company’s slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings,” said by angels in the animated advert.

Take a look, and tell us what you think of it.

h1

Little Miss Sunbeam

December 3, 2007

Little Miss SunbeamHere’s one of America’s favorite brand images, Little Miss Sunbeam. Sunbeam White Bread was first marketed in Philadelphia, PA in 1942, and began to be baked all over the U.S. after the end of World War II. The billboard (LARGE VERSION) just went up this week in Urbana, IL in anticipation of Christmas. The art looks amazingly reminiscent of the 40s, and may be an exact replica of an actual billboard from those days. Ellen Segner originated the image of Little Miss Sunbeam, and according to the Web site of home company Quality Bakers of America, the artist produced more than 30 paintings of her for corporate advertising. Although not explicitly denominational, the theme is definitely Christian, with its large, bright star in the sky connoting the birth of Jesus. The text couldn’t be any more appropriate for a bread company.

h1

Lights. Cameras. Christmas! Absolut-ly.

December 1, 2007

Absolut Stirring and Absolut Ritual

Since 1981, Absolut vodka has been imported into the U.S. from Sweden. Probably inspired by the unusual and proprietary bottle shape, designers and photographers have been creating some pretty imaginative posters advertising Absolut. A good number of them have incorporated religious themes in general and Christmas themes in particular. Absolut Stirring, as in “not a creature was…,” was published in 1994, and Absolut Ritual (What family hasn’t made untangling the Christmas tree lights a family ritual?) hit the market in 2005. View the enlarged version here. If you have any holiday-related Absolut posters from the last 25 years, send them in!

h1

Hello Dalai

December 1, 2007

Dalai LamaAlthough the Dalai Lama has been exiled from his fellow Tibetans since 1959, he remains their religious leader. The official Web site of “The Office of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama,” is definitely worth a good look. For at least 25 years, he has leant his image to a variety of ads, including an advertisement for Apple computers. See a larger version of the photo at right. According to his site, the first two of the Dalai Lama’s 3 main commitments in life are:

(1) [O]n the level of a human being, His Holiness’ first commitment is the promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. All human beings are the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion recognize the importance of these human values in making their life happier. His Holiness refers to these human values as secular ethics. He remains committed to talk about the importance of these human values and share them with everyone he meets.

(2) [O]n the level of a religious practitioner, His Holiness’ second commitment is the promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of each other’s respective traditions. As far as one truth, one religion is concerned, this is relevant on an individual level. However, for the community at large, several truths, several religions are necessary.

How do you feel about this religious figure appearing on this billboard? Do you feel the same about him appearing in an Apple ad? Would it depend on the type of Apple ad? Explain.

h1

Virgin Mobile: Cell phone contracts not kosher

November 30, 2007

Virgin Mobile adVirgin Mobile uses some Jewish symbolism to sell cell phone service. The main image is of a rabbi or a Jewish man wearing a prayer shawl, a tallis, and reading a presumably holy book. The headline reads: “Cell phone contracts. Avoid them like shellfish.” Of course, shellfish are not kosher, and are not to be eaten by Jews who follow the dietary laws known as kashrut. I’ll have to look into this, but the Virgin Mobile logo at the bottom of the page sports a halo. I’m not sure if this is a regular part of the logo, or if it is being used here only. What do you think? Is this funny or is it demeaning? I have a feeling that the Jewish man pictured here is a stock photo, but I don’t know that for sure either. Check out the larger version here.