I’m not really in the mood for Christmas yet, but thanks to ChurchAds.net launching their new Christmas advertising campaign this week I’ve ended up thinking about it a bit too much over the last couple of days. Their Christmas starts with Christ campaign is much easier on the eye than last years GodBaby(TM) which I described last year as ‘creepy’. What GodBaby did do a good job of was getting people talking even if the generally reaction wasn’t overwhelmingly positive.
This year it’s a lot more tame but actually I think the message is stronger and will resonate with many of us irrespective of our backgrounds or beliefs who get increasingly exasperated by the commercialisation and secularisation of Christmas.
Recent surveys yet again paint a gloomy picture of how little many people know about Christmas and the birth of Jesus. According to polls, 51 per cent of people now say that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas. Just 12 per cent of adults know the nativity story in any depth; and 36 per cent of children do not know whose birthday is being celebrated during the festival. Pretty depressing stuff. It makes it all the more important therefore that Churches and Christians do what they can to get the real message out. As you would hope, leading Christian groups, including the Church of England, Traidcraft, the Methodist Church, the Bible Society, and the Evangelical Alliance are coming together and putting their weight behind Christmas starts with Christ because they recognise something needs to be done. We should expect to be seeing quite a lot of this logo and the accompanying adverts in the run up to Christmas.
Arun Arora, director of communications at the Church of England has said: “At Christmas time thousands of churches around the country do a huge amount to carry the Christmas story into their local communities, through word and deed. The vision for the Christmas starts with Christ campaign is to use a common logo to join the dots of these activities and project a powerful message to our entire nation that the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus.”
So here are the adverts:
I have to say that I really like these. They’re nice a crisp and to the point as well as asking poignant questions. ChurchAds.net has three different versions free to download along with a load of other resources for churches on their website. What I like about these the most though is that there is the potential to produce a whole series of posters along this theme in true internet meme style. There are plenty of other questions on the irrelevance of some Christmas traditions that would fit with this. With the power of Facebook and Twitter this could go far.
I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but I’ve put my Photoshop skills to use and decided to create a few versions of my own below. They’ve been done in A3 so you can click on them for a larger version. I’m sure though that there could be others that would be much more amusing.
The campaign gets going officially on December 1st. Is anyone interested in getting the word out in a big way?
And one final slightly ironic one…