Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Jesus, all about life

This month, Sydney is being blitzed with Australia's biggest-ever Christian campaign: Jesus. All about life. It's supported by most of Australia's major church groups: Catholic, Anglican, Uniting, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc. The Jesus logo is appearing on billboards and bus shelters around town; there are prime time TV and radio commercials; churches are holding all sorts of special Jesus events; and there's even a Jesus racing car. Apparently the whole campaign is based on market research about what the average Australian wants.

There's also a Thank You Jesus website, where you can submit thank-yous to Jesus for cool middle class stuff – there's an example below. (Incidentally, I don't think they've had very good web advice for this campaign. Through a curious oversight, they forgot to register the .com domains of both their websites: one is now owned by the atheist parody site, Jesus. All About Lies, while the other is owned by Secular Thinking.)

The campaign has been discussed on various blogs, radio programmes, and so forth. In a recent programme, there was some intelligent critique from one of our local theologians, John Hirt: "If we market Jesus to the culture, do we lose his life-alignment to the poor and the broken?" And the same programme included some disturbing insights from the marketing director of the campaign: "People have the right to know about Jesus, and they have the right then to choose to turn him down." Riiiiight.

Speaking of advertising, here's some cool unofficial promotion for HBO from Postal Secrets (a blog where people send in their anonymous secrets on the front of a postcard):

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