How the Catholic Church Markets World Youth Day

July 15, 2008 by

Sometimes it’s fun to see what others say about church marketing. Here’s a blog entry talking about how the Catholic church is marketing World Youth Day 2008. The initial thought is that the Catholic church isn’t very good at marketing, but then the author explores some of the strategies for World Youth Day and points out that they’re pretty smart. And they’re simple things, like:

  • Handing out orange and yellow jackets and backpacks to visitors so they can both be seen and find one another.
  • Each visitor’s badge includes the flag of their country and
  • each visitor is encouraged to wave their country’s flag.

The author concludes:

“If nothing else, World Youth Day demonstrates the power and global reach of a church that many perceive to be in decline. The gathering of youth will reinforce the faith of everyone involved and convince them that they are a part of something much larger than themselves–something that, because of the diversity and number of participants, must surely be worthwhile. And that’s good marketing.”

It’s amazing how such simple ideas can create much larger perceptions.

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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3 Responses to “How the Catholic Church Markets World Youth Day”

  • Matt Kirkland
    July 15, 2008

    I’ve been looking forward to World Youth Day for eight months or so – partly because it’s such a cool event, but more (and more selfishly) because I got to design some of the promotional goods for the event. I’m hoping to see throngs of pilgrims wearing that gear!

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  • Graeme
    July 15, 2008

    I am in Sydney at the moment on holidays – and the marketing for WYD is excellent. You can’t miss the pilgrims! It’s amazing driving around the city seeing massive flags with crosses on them, and Acts 1:8. The message of the Holy Spirit and passionate Christianity is clear for all to see. When the front page of the city newspaper is a photo of 140000 people attending Mass…including the countries rime Minister, some marketing must have worked.

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  • grace_t
    July 20, 2008

    WYD 08 was brilliant marketing. I’m a Sydney-sider and for the past week all i saw where ever i went was throngs of colourfully clad young people taking over Syd – all in recognisable WYD merchandise/gear. Even non WYD ppl on the streets seemed to blend into the crowd making the already massive crowd of pilgrims appear even larger. Catholicism has had some reputation of appearing rather stuffy and old-fashioned to the general public and this colourful vibrant show of pilgrims went against this stereotype quite brilliantly in my opinion. i’m not a catholic myself but i was thoroughly impressed at the sheer scale and coordination in terms of marketing, advertising and staging this event.

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