Hollywood, sometimes considered the last place to find anything divine, has seen the light lately, releasing a flood of faith-infused entertainment that includes TriStar's Heaven Is for Real, Focus Features' The Young Messiah and a live musical version of The Passion on Fox (which aired on Sunday, March 20).
Advertising veterans George Logothetis and Graham Clifford are celebrating Easter in a bit of a blasphemous way this year by unveiling The Product Placement Bible—a tongue-in-cheek (or at least turn-the-other-cheek) website that imagines verses of scripture sponsored by some of the world's top marketers.
The award for best trolling billboard this week goes to this impressive display in Topeka, Kan., which just so happens to be the hometown of the not exceedingly gay-friendly Westboro Baptist Church.
You wouldn't think Jesus would be too concerned about his investment portfolio these days, but online trading service Kapitall has tapped Him as a spokesman anyway in a campaign featuring "revolutionary" historic figures. In a series of spots that went live today, Jesus cracks jokes about crucifixion while Che Guevara cooks frittatas and Genghis Khan showers himself with coins. Backed by a $1 million media spend, the online ads also include Leonardo da Vinci (with nude lounging boy toy) and Cleopatra (with frond-waving boy toy). But clearly it's the depiction of Jesus that's bound to arouse the most consternation. In a second spot, not yet posted, Jesus says he learned about Kapitall when God found the site and yelled "JESUS CHRIST!" "Kapitall, and our newly launched advertising campaign, is about being revolutionary," Kapitall CMO Pascal Ehrsam tells AdFreak in an email. "The brand campaign is not meant to be offensive, but to give a nod to some of history's notable icons. Comprising many ethnicities and religions, Kapitall is made up of people from all over the world. We have great respect and admiration for all, even as we strive to entertain." The campaign was created by agency Swell, with media planning handled by PM Digital. It will run through the summer on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and Gawker Network, generating an estimated 50 million impressions per month. Check out the first Jesus spot below and more from the campaign after the jump.
Controversial ministry Abba's Delight has put up a billboard in Louisville, Ky., that targets "people of faith who are uncomfortable with their same-sex attractions." Abba's Delight founder Daniel Mingo says the billboard, which tells unhappy gay people that "you have options," was intended to be a helpful message, so he was taken aback by the negative feedback he's gotten. Gay reform ministries are quackery to begin with, but they usually aren't this passive-aggressive. Abba's Delight is still denouncing homosexuality and claiming it's incompatible with religious faith, but if gay people are happy being sinful and wrong, this ministry seems to say, they can have at it. Conversely, John Waters would say anyone who's seriously that conflicted and miserable being gay should do everyone a favor and not be gay, so there's that.
I am impressed. A tiny, all-female Catholic college-prep academy in Kentucky has created a curious ad campaign, via agency Doe-Anderson, that flies in the face of all my assumptions regarding Catholic education. The deeply feminist campaign tells young women, "You're not a princess" and "Life's not a fairytale," and advises them: "Don't wait for a prince." The tagline is: "Prepare for real life." Let me explain why this is so cool. Is this a new message? No, it's many decades old. Is it a common message? Sadly, also no. This type of talk is not only still new to a lot of people, it's particularly timely as the Disney-princess empire continues to expand by dainty leaps and fierce bounds. What's most remarkable is that a Catholic preparatory school is taking a view of women's education that doesn't end in a prince. Lord have mercy, but Mercy Academy has a progressive view on women's role in the world. This, and those troublemaking U.S. nuns "tinged with feminist influences"? Damn, U.S. Catholicism, you're gettin' a serious brand update. More Mercy ads below.
The evangelicals at JesusTattoo.org are drawing predictably polarized responses for billboards around Lubbock, Texas, that show Christ covered in tattoos (reading "outcast," "jealous" and "addicted," among other things) and a provocative online video (below) that casts the Messiah as a basement tattoo artist.
Creationists have thrown the latest stone in the heated battle to piss off the most number of people with a billboard. "To all our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong," declares a billboard in New York's Times Square.
Every now and then, you get a provocative church ad, like Florida's "Come get hammered" billboard or pretty much anything New Zealand's St. Matthew-in-the-City puts out.
Ever wondered what God is doing right at this moment? Thanks to social media and the lovely infographics over at god-was-here.com, you can spy on His Omniscience and see exactly where he's helping out.