10 uncool ads and products featuring Jesus
Jesus is in the news again, what with Christmas fast approaching. Earlier this week, we posted a pro-Christian ad featuring Ultrasound Jesus, aka Fetus Jesus—who is supposed to be a reminder in our hyper-commercialized world that "Christmas starts with Christ." It's just the latest questionable ad to feature the Son of God. After the jump, check out 10 other uncool ads and products starring Jesus (and we're not counting Last Supper parodies, which are too numerous to count). Let us know of any we missed that you think are divine.
This was a fake ad, but it got its creator in real trouble. Harry Taylor, 59, a self-described "militant atheist," was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment in England this year after leaving this spoof ad (and other off-color religious material) in the prayer room of Liverpool's John Lennon airport. Taylor argued, unsuccessfully, that the images were satire and that people would be offended only if their faith was "weak." He also said his actions were a tribute to Lennon, an anti-religious icon.
Also fake—and probably doesn't belong on this list, as it's actually pretty damn (darn!) cool. The Christ action figure can do it all. He has "walk-on-water action" and comes with a sadistic Roman soldier and a crying Mary Magdalene. But he's not so omnipotent that he avoids crucifixion. Bless you for not taking it too seriously!
With this campaign, online anti-pornography ministry XXXChurch.com meant to suggest that Jesus loves porn stars even if He doesn't love what they do for work. That's a subtle distinction, though—one that people might (and did) misinterpret. You can see where they're coming from, though. More uncool was XXXChurch.com's attempts to order 10,000 bibles imprinted with the "Jesus loves porn stars" line on the cover to hand out at adult-industry events. That request was rejected by the American Bible Society.
A good way to start a controversy is to show Jesus as a pot-bellied, whiskey-slugging hippy who weasels his way into a club by turning the bouncers into dwarfs and a couple of ordinary-looking women into busty, half-naked models, and then leaves in a stretch Hummer. The Catholic Church said this promo for Plug TV, a youth network in Belgium, "crosses the limits of respectability." But in fact, Jesus's excessive behavior is not without consequences. At the end of the ad, he is whisked up to Heaven, where he gets an earful from God, who's nicely decked out in a "Number one dad" T-shirt.
It's good to know all that suffering on the cross wasn't in vain. Safeway prices really are to die for. Thanks, Jesus!
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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.