Posted by: Posterscope SA | October 22, 2010

God speaks through signs (literally?)

GodSpeaks.com is a Christian website who, in order to generate more awareness around their website, decided to develop a billboard campaign on God’s behalf.

According to an article in The Washington Times, written by Shelley Widhalm, the heavenly billboard campaign has impressed advertising professionals. The sayings – most of them fewer than 10 words – began on nine billboards in South Florida for three months in 1998, garnering public attention that eventually included national press coverage.

This divine campaign consists of witty one- liners such as:

“That ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ thing… I meant it – God”

“My way is the highway- God”

“Well, you did ask for a sign- God”

“Don’t make me come down there- God”

The Washington Times article further mentions that the ‘God Speaks’ campaign was originally financed by a wealthy individual. The donor wanted to create a spiritual climate and he asked the advertisers, Andy Smith and Charlie Robb of The Smith Agency in Fort Lauderdale to identify a creative way to focus attention on God and generate debate. The response was so positive that billboard companies in the US donated millions of dollars of space. (Talk about a Media Owner’s dream!) This campaign has been so popular that it has been launched in Asia as well.

Warren Richey, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, states that Sheila Hayes, OAAA communications director, said that “Messages from God” is the most effective billboard public-service campaign the organization has ever seen. Richey further writes that for outdoor advertisers, the campaign is not only a public service, but also a demonstration of the power of billboards to deliver a meaningful message. The key is relevance.

It appears as if God is not the only one selling billboards, lately Satan has decided to fire-up the outdoor advertising world as well. Journalist, Duncan Macleod, has mentioned on his blog, Postkiwi, that the Victory Family Church in Decatur, Texas, has caused one hell of an uproar with a billboard with the words, “I Hate Victory Family Church’- Satan”. The church is slurping up the publicity and enjoying the rise in hits to its web site, http://www.victoryfamilychurch.net

Duncan Macleod further states that associate pastor Chris Bates said the web site has had more than 1,100 hits since the billboard went up. “That’s huge for a small church like us,” he said. Bates said his church isn’t done yet; the next billboard will read, “Victory Family Church stole my kids – Satan.” “It’s a different take on the God sign,” he said. “We just wanted something that didn’t look churchy.”

These two outdoor advertising campaigns ones again prove that a clever message combined with outdoor advertising can generate brand awareness on a large scale that can be very impactful and tremendously effective.

Sources:

http://www.postkiwi.com/2007/satan-hates-church-billboards/http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2006/godmarks/

http://www.csmonitor.com/1999/0409/p1s4.html

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