One Church – One Commercial

September 15, 2004 by

Texas blogger Rob Stewart writes:

“The McDonald’s at 50th St. and Quaker Ave. doesn’t have its own commercial separate from commercials for the McDonald’s at 19th and University. There’s an ad for McDonald’s, period. What if we advertised the Church that way? Not ads for Monterey Church of Christ or Second Baptist Church or Holy Parish Church, but ads for God’s Church.”

Right on. While it’s not exactly the same idea, some denominations are using national campaigns on a local scale, making better quality commercials that are easy on the small budgets of local congregations.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

5 Responses to “One Church – One Commercial”

  • Lake Neuron Bait Shop
    September 24, 2004

    One problem with this idea is that McDonald’s, by design, can offer and advertise a consistency in experience and product that the church cannot (and should not!) match.
    Completely unchurched people may tend to assume that all churches are alike, and that’s an assumption we must fight. One of the most important messages we have is that there is a wide variety of churches. The church you were raised in might have been stuffy and oppressive, but all churches aren’t like that. The church you visited a few years ago may have been limp and ineffectual, but all churches aren’t like that.
    Yes, there can be benefit in cooperative marketing, but I think there’s still a need for individual congregations to deliver messages about what makes them distinctive.

     | Permalink
  • brad
    September 24, 2004

    I agree with “Lake Neuron” above. When I originally read this entry I was stoked and had a great conversation with my wife about this idea. After digging a little deeper, we came to similar conclusions. McDonald’s (and all national brands for that matter) are selling the same thing. I can appreciate that.
    But that is part of the beauty in church – they are all different. I may want a church where the “poor” are more of a priority or where the “intellectuals” are more of a priority. Geography and demographics play a big role – at least they should – in what a church “offers.”
    I do think there is a way to come up with some cooperative effort to do some national branding for the church. Even if it was something like re-establishing Saturday or Sunday as a day of rest and a time to connect with your local community and find faith. A time to seek truth and find purpose to life. People could connect with that I think.

     | Permalink
  • kevin
    September 24, 2004

    I’d agree that there’s certainly downsides to a national (or even global) ad campaign like that. There are unique differences for churches that should be highlighted. But the overall idea (go to church/find God/etc) could easily be advertised on a national scale in a way that doesn’t exclude congregations. It’s a matter of focusing on the bigger picture that churches, despite their differences, have in common.
    I’m not saying local churches shouldn’t advertise, but a concerted national effort could be effective and save a lot of money.

     | Permalink
  • Church Marketing Sucks
    October 5, 2004

    Guerrilla Church Marketing

    A million dollar advertising blitz may work for the corporate giants, but that’s usually a joke in the church. Rather than trying to spend more, churches should be smarter. Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the Guerrilla Marketing series, offers 93 Guerri…

     | Permalink
  • paul
    October 13, 2004

    Rather than a national campaign, how about a city’s local churches partnering to invite people to Easter or Christmas services at a church of their choice?

    We got our Weekly Pastor’s Prayer list together and ended up with 25 churches in our city sponsoring an ad encouraging people to post-Passion sermon series at local churches.
    We have also done a city-wide Faith Highway video encouraging people to attend church at Christmas, along with a phone number listed that people could call to talk or for info.
    Just a thought …

     | Permalink