Posts Tagged ‘secular’

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Will you find Jesus in the foam of your beer?

November 20, 2007

Beer Glass JesusThis is a more recent example of bringing the viewer to the Lord by using secular imagery and themes. Who would this appeal to in our postmodern era? Teenagers? Young adults? Alcoholics? Would this turn off an older person who does not drink at all? In advertising, does the end justify the means? Give me your opinions, please.

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Is Jennifer O’Neill a Sinner?

November 19, 2007

mysinad1972.jpgHere’s an example to get the discussion going. Jennifer O’Neill posed for this ad in 1972. The headline is a play on words, alluding to users of My Sin cologne being “Sinners.” If you look closely, Ms. O’Neill is nude under her velvet jacket. On her Web site, she states that about 14 or 15 years later, she was saved, and began her own evangelistic ministry mostly by writing books. How does this ad square with what she is doing these days? Is this type of ad off limits for an evangelical Protestant? Is there any reason why Ms. O’Neill should be embarrassed by this ad? Would this ad be likely to increase sales of My Sin cologne?

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Hello world!

November 19, 2007

Welcome to Godvertising.wordpress.com. I invite you to become a part of a new dialogue, a new discussion that may lead to a better understanding of our unique American brand of observable manifestations of faith, discipleship, and piety—simply put, godvertising.

If you have ever seen a metallic fish decal affixed to the rear of a vehicle, a billboard exhorting attendance at church, a T-shirt sporting a special take on a verse or concept from the bible, a sign in front of a church proclaiming a humorous or inspirational message, a television commercial in which a large group of African-Americans breaks into a rousing, hand-clapping, gospel rendition of “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” in celebration of Mazda’s latest Motor Trend award, or a print ad audaciously announcing the resurrection of a 25-year-old athletic shoe as the “Second Coming,” then you have witnessed godvertising in action. And in the process, perhaps, someone has “witnessed” to you.

Please submit examples of godvertising and/or comment on others’ uploads or comments. What offends you? How does godvertising work to evangelize? Does it put more people into pews—in churches, synagogues, temples, or mosques? Does the consumer product appropriation of religious imagery demean religious faith or does it reinforce it? Does the proliferation of religious imagery signify greater religiosity or not? How do religions compete with each other in their messages in ads, on billboards, on television, on the ‘Net, or on the radio? How are some denominations branding themselves? How do religious themes in our advertising media encroach upon the domain of civil religion or vice versa? What is the place of religion in politics? Where is it all leading?
Let’s hear from you on any aspect of this discussion. Suggest categories! Suggest ways to make this discussion better.