Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marketing 101

I have the pleasure of living near one of those churches with the signs out front. The messages are very occasionally advertising actual church business, like Vacation Bible School or special holiday services. But most often, they're that kind of punny or pithy message seemingly aimed at non-believers, trying to get us to come to the church. My dear friend and I love to drive by and read those messages, often sending those messages to each other if they really catch our fancy (meaning our funny bone).

Today's message:

"If you're dead and it's still hot, it's too late."

I kinda want to go find whoever is in charge of this sign and offer them some free marketing advice. I feel like I'm at least part of their target audience with this sign. So there's a part of me that wants to let them know how woefully off-the-mark they are if they really want to try to convince people to come to Jesus. Threats of burning in hell pretty much stop working to convert people once they get past age 10 or so. So telling people that they should come to worship your god because if you don't, said god will condemn you to an eternity of hell is not effective marketing. Maybe just focus on the love part, not the "or else" part.

But if I gave them advice, they might come up with better signs and then I'd lose my weekly chuckle.


Windypundit said...

Hmm. There's a church by my house that does this too, and now that you mention it, their messages aren't real convincing to non-believers either.

Maybe, despite appearances, the church is not actually marketing to you. Lots of donation-dependent organizations market heavily to their own members to get them to donate more. The NRA's Wayne LaPierre is a prime example: He says lots of silly stuff because he isn't really trying to convince anyone that he's right. He's just saying whatever he thinks will get more money from NRA members.

So maybe "If you're dead and it's still hot, it's too late," is not really aimed at you but at the church membership, in which case the real meaning is "Look how much smarter and better we are than those other people!"

That's a message that always sells.

Windypundit said...

Shorter version of my comment: Maybe they're, um, preaching to the choir...

S said...

It had to be done, Windy. And I commend you for it.

The thing about this church, though, is it really is one of those that places ads in papers and actively tries to bring in new members. So I really don't think they are just preaching to the choir. Maybe the burning in hell ones are aimed at keep their current membership in line and the "nicer" ones are the ones aimed at folks like me.

A Voice of Sanity said...

Many of these are posted on reddit/atheism. Sometimes we look at them and wonder if anyone read them, because they seem to say the opposite of the apparent message.

S said...

The current message:

All will kneel before Jesus one day. Some in joy. Some in fear.

If Jesus is all about love and being the personal lord and savior of all humans, why should any human fear him?

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