Church in a Pool Advertising

November 22, 2005 by

For this week’s peer review we go across the pond to Life Church in the UK.



Flier (front):

Flier (back):

Life Church
Burnley, UK
created by Matthew Brunton, Joy Solutions
Life Church is an Assemblies of God church located in a medium-sized town (80,000) in Lancashire, England. When the church relocated across town they needed a way to get the word out. Since the location they moved into included an old Victorian swimming pool that had been well known in the town, they used the pool as the focus of their campaign. The change over from a pool to a church had been fairly controversial, but by the time the church moved in the opposition had died down and it was a good opportunity to subvert people’s ideas on the change of use and increase the profile of the church.

The campaign ran in August 2005 so this review is more of a chance to learn and offer suggestions for future projects.


  • What do you think of the overall idea to play off the pool?
  • How does the design work visually?
  • What do you think of the writing?
  • What would you have done differently?
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.
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10 Responses to “Church in a Pool Advertising”

  • Garrett Frazier
    November 22, 2005

    I like the idea of playing off the pool. For me in Washington state it means nothing. However people in Lancashire have a relationship with the location. Making use of that relationship reminds people of where the church is at. The design is visually appealing but it makes me wonder if the church is more focused on location than people. The font is easy to read and big. It can be seen from a distance and the colors have a nice contrast from the background.
    I would have done one or two things different. The first I have already alluded to being a focus on people. The second is defining terms and opportunities. Alpha Course is mentioned but it is something that I know nothing about. It may be huge in Lancashire but I know nothing of it apart from a quick googling.
    Anyways, awesome idea and I hope it goes well.

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  • Michael
    November 22, 2005

    LOVE IT.
    What a great way to capitalize on the talk around town in a positive way. The visuals you chose are great…what a cute kid!
    On another note…way to go following through on your website.
    The copy is great too…very friendly not real churchy (except maybe the alpha groups).
    Way to go! This church marketing definetly does NOT suck. Victory!
    Good luck in the new location and keep up the great work.

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  • anyarodiambo
    November 22, 2005

    Well, the only problem with this campaign is you have to know the history of the building for it to be effective, otherwise you’re left wondering (like I was), what in the world are they talking about? Too much background information is required to make this effective.
    On the other hand, for those who know the history, it’s great.

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  • Michael
    November 22, 2005

    An essential key to marketing is to know your audience. I don’t need to know the history, I’m not their audience. The reason this is such a great idea is that not only do they know their audience and their audience knows the history, but they’re talking about the history.
    It’s the reason I’m not a big fan of premade postcards, websites, etc. they’re made for too wide an audience.

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  • brand1m
    November 23, 2005

    Here’s my debate: Even with the history of knowing that its in a former pool building, does saying that its not a pool make me want to come to the church? It seems like a leap from declaring this isn’t a pool to hey come to church here. The fact that its in the old building is interesting, but I just have a little bit of a hard time selling myself on this. As an idea, to me it would be a little bit more interesting if you said that this is, “the swimming pool church”. Then I am curious. “Not a swimming pool” makes me say, “ok thanks for the info.”
    The layout is clean and the type is easy to read. The way that it is divided up is nice. I would change some of the copy. I don’t want to be “part of the crowd” so maybe you say join us instead. The great welcome part confuses me, but maybe thats the difference of living on the other side of the pond. I agree with the previous comments on Alpha Course. I don’t think you have to say “and more!” I don’t think people see what you list here as being a comprehensive list, so they already know that there is more. I think you could drop the visit the website section completely. You are giving them the contact info at the bottom, so if they are interested, they will check into it.
    Overall, its a good effort. Way to go.

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  • Gene Mason
    November 24, 2005

    Mailout is not nearly the quality level of their excellent website–maybe make the site more prominent as it really presents the church and it’s focus/style very well. This seems to be saying “family/kid friendly” but the website says “young adult” with content/vibe.
    That being said, any church that makes a solid effort to put themselves out into the community I say way to go and more of it.

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  • Sam DeSocio
    November 25, 2005

    At first I was like um, I guess it lost something in the translation from England to America, but once I read the back I though that is a really smart way to contact the community. To bad our church building is just a plane old church building. Hahaha

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  • Ben J Walker
    November 27, 2005

    I love the idea. But I agree with some of the above, it makes very clear it’s not a pool… but doesn’t really push the idea of what it actually IS too clearly.
    The design and colours are very swimming-pool esque too. I think it could be an absolutely brilliant idea taken from the right angle, but currently it’s just a fairly good idea.
    Less pool. More church.

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  • goodstoryteller
    November 28, 2005

    I like the idea as an intro–It’s a more or less one shot program from my perspective–announcing the relocation.—that’s good.
    Predicated on the market–and the history weve been given I think its good—
    It’s not a swimming pool and it doesn’t look like a church either.
    It leaves with question? curiosity?
    What more can we expect from a piece–I like that there are at least two ways to get the word out and they are linked–same theme.
    I think the website is very well done—However they need to remember that the web is not just their local community–it is world wide–we need to know where we have landed—first page allows need to identify location–

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  • Joanthan Troop
    June 26, 2006

    I have saw what Life Church need to the Ganow Baths before their move in. I helping them with the project and been in the church now everything finished. It looks good and it does not matter what the buiding looks like as long as they are getting people in.

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Peer Review