But, besides the fact that this is an Easter ad that manages to avoid talking about resurrection, here is why I won't be using it.
1) The ad starts with the premise that most Christians are indeed those judgmental, hateful jerks that we see on the TV-machine. The ad focuses on what we are not instead of saying who we are. This is a tempting trap. Stop it. Except for saying that Jesus is against hate and in favor of love, so what? As Jesus said, even the gentiles believe such things.When we market the Episcopal Church, can we start with a different premise? I don't own a computer compatible video camera nor the right software, so I am asking for some help.*
1a) There is only one picture showing what we presume Jesus wants and that is none too clear. The only pictures of recognizable human beings in the ad are of people doing things we said Jesus said never to do. And was that a fist or was someone giving me...? ...never mind.
2) The ad makes no compelling case for belief in general or for the Episcopal Church specifically. After saying the Christians are hateful jerks, we say go ahead and go to the "church of your choice." Really? Even if it is a church full of hateful jerks? Besides, that phrase was used in PSAs when I was a kid! The ad is saying it would be nice if you went to some church, any church and maybe, possibly, if it isn't too much bother, an Episcopal Church.
Can we try for a different kind of Easter ad?
- What is it that makes following the risen Jesus a laudable and transformative thing?
- What is it about our common life in Christ that we Episcopalians would want to invite people into?
- What earthly good does our particular form of worship, community and action make in people's lives?
Here are the rules: It has to be 15-30 seconds long. It has to hit on the above themes. It cannot be mean or abusive but I will certainly welcome edgy. Humor is a plus. If anyone actually does this, be it known that I am the final, arbitrary judge as what I post on my own blog. My main criteria is this: would I show this on behalf of my own parish or diocese on the public airwaves?
* = Full disclosure: I am chair of my diocesan evangelism commission, and we in the Diocese of Bethlehem are getting ready to cook up a second round of television ads for our diocese. Who knows? Your idea may come to fruition! So I am both trolling for ideas and trying to generate discussion.
In the "Holy Roseanne Roseannadanna!" department: I originally thought this ad came from TEC. I was wrong. My humblest apologies for my error.