Australia’s “Jesus: All About Life” Campaign

August 11, 2005 by

Jesus All About Life marketing campaignA new $250,000 marketing campaign is trying to promote Jesus to Australians. The “Jesus: All About Life” campaign has raised money from various churches and ministries and will run TV, radio and newspaper ads, as well as billboards, starting in the city of Adelaide.

The goal of the campaign is to promote the promise of Jesus offering abundant life (John 10:10). Though the news article doesn’t report it, a big part of the campaign seems to be outreach events aimed at showing the abundant life Jesus offers (and how it’s not just stale church services).

We’ve talked about the idea of using one campaign to promote the wider Church before. It’s cool to see it happening, though it will be interesting to see how effective it is. The Advertiser article quoted a marketing expert who chided the ‘one size fits all’ approach and instead suggested identifying specific groups and developing a targeted campaign. The TV commercials at least try to target different age groups (singles, families, seniors), but the message is the same.

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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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27 Responses to “Australia’s “Jesus: All About Life” Campaign”

  • Brad Abare
    August 11, 2005

    I love this. The TV spots are great! Sure there would have been a few things I would have done differently, but what a brilliant campaign. Why can’t churches here in the U.S. partner like that?!

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  • Darryl
    August 11, 2005

    They did a lot of research prior to commencing this programme, with an in-depth survey of many non-Christian Australians to find out what they think about the church, Christianity, and God (I purchased a copy of this study – fascinating stuff). So they actually took the time to understand their target market … how innovative is that?! ;)

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  • Martin Johnson
    August 11, 2005

    Good to see that our campaign has generated some interest in the US.
    We developed the concept from the Campus Crusade Power to Change campaigns that ran in Canada and Ireland (2002).
    Happy to share anything you may want to know.
    Martin Johnson
    Director – Jesus. All about life.
    Bible Society NSW

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  • ellie faase
    August 16, 2005

    hey im ellie and im the daughter of karl faase and he heads up this program or serises of ads and stuff! im glad you like it he! he! he! ummmm…… i like the ads too there interesting!

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  • ellie
    August 16, 2005

    oops i didnt mean head up i meant has some thing to do with it!!

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  • ihatereligion
    August 22, 2005

    I figure this comment will be deleted, but anyway. I really can’t stand christians advertising their shit. Those TV ads and billboards make me want to throw up when I see them.
    As a non-christian (quite obviously), the advertisements just appear to me to be so damn lame. Trying to make christianity seem “hip” just can not work. It is the antithesis of cool.
    Why? Because being cool means trying to be different, right? Teenagers seeking what is “cool”, are really seeking a way to be an individual; to stand out.
    Organised religion can never make you stand out as an individual. By choosing to follow a religion such as christianity, you are submitting yourself to become “one of the flock”. You are leaving your ability to think and make decisions behind. The Bible makes your decisions for you now.
    Think of how $250,000 could have been used for a good cause. How is getting some sheep to join your religion helping society or humanity in any way?
    Because these newly “saved” people will have eternal life in heaven? Hahahahahaha. Oh boy. Yeah good one. That really helps out.
    Please just crawl back into your little holes and stop annoying us with your empty propaganda.

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  • Anne Jackson
    August 22, 2005

    i hate religion –
    i agree with you on so many of your points. not all of them (we all have our own opinions!) but you hit it right on some of them.
    thanks for sharing.

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  • Sarah
    August 30, 2005

    This is 4 ihatereligion should they see this. If you saw just 1 ad, it clearly says that Jesus is all about life, not religion and the bible is not a book of rules but rather a collection of stories. It’s not about becoming sheep, it’s about individuality.
    You have the right to have an opinion but at least try and get your facts right b4 criticising others.

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  • anon
    August 30, 2005

    so we now exect people who aren’t christians to get their facts straight before becoming a christian?

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  • j-dog
    September 3, 2005

    to ellie: nup. totaly disagree. i’m youth and jesus and stuf isn’t about organized religion at all. it’s about living for an awesome God who transforms, redeems, renews, restores people. it’s about telling the wurld about this awesome God who does awesome things through people!!
    it’s not about being apart of the flock. ‘apart of the flock’ means apart of this wurld and being told what to wear and stuff. being christian means just living out an awesome life where God can just work through you.
    i’m an AOG christian (paradise community church here in adelaide, south australia) but it’s really no different to the hearts of people in anglican, crc, united, protestant, baptist, etc churches. but in AOG, we do skating, we talk about sex and things which we deal with today. and we find that Jesus is just so relevant and if you think music is loud at concerts, you should check it out at AOG- i’m afraid i’ll loose all my hearing!! but it’s about using it as a medium to just worship our awesome God.
    just don’t jump to conclusions if you haven’t listened to Chrstiain music radio stations and have gone to a church and experienced God.

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  • jellyfish
    September 5, 2005

    hey there ihatereligion
    i didn’t think ‘cool’ was about being a christian or a non christian i think being cool is about deciding for yourself what you believe and how you will live your life. Being cool is about standing up for what you believe in and not changing your mind if things get hard.
    ps just wondering if you resent all “propaganda” eg other religious groups, governement advertising, community group advertising etc. would hate to think your descriminating against others soley on the basis of their beliefs

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  • thebossofyou
    September 8, 2005

    Hello everyone. I’d like to throw in my two cents. I completely agree with ‘ihatereligion’. It is true that religion as such is not about being cool however you seem to misunderstand what the guy/girl is saying. He/she is pointing out that despite the above fact, this advertising campaign is attempting the very same, that is making Jesus appear ‘cool’ and ‘with it’. That, for a lack of a better phrase, is a crock of crap.
    Unfortunately Jesus isn’t cool, he isn’t relevant in any way no matter how much any of you want to believe it. The time has come when a majority of the people simply do not need religion and outdated superstition to make them feel safe and secure. This may have worked on palestine nomads but it has no use in the modern world. Hope, meaning and happiness is found in other people and the relationships we have with them; not with some invisible ghost up in the sky.
    It is the fortunate [yes, FORTUNATE] truth that the christian church is dying. Attendance levels are diminishing every year and more people come to the realisation that they don’t need god in their lives. The “Jesus: all about life” campaign is a desperate last-minute attempt at gathering whatever is left of those who still MIGHT believe all the dubious crap about a deity that has absolutely no place in reality.
    Indeed, $250,000 could have been spent really helping people, investing in their futures. Instead, the church has once again disappointed us with their monetary management skills by blowing all that cash on television ads and little booklets filled with silly promises. I would suggest that all of you who have told ‘ihatereligion’ to “think about it”, to think about it yourselves too. Think about what you are really propagating here.

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  • kevin
    September 11, 2005

    Umm, have you noticed what site you’re on, “thebossofyou”? I don’t think you’re going to get far with that argument on this site.

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  • thebossofyou
    September 14, 2005

    Who cares what site I am on? Apparently you do, kevin… but an argument is an argument regardless of the site it is posted on. On another note, I have noticed what site i am on and should you read my post carefully, you will note that it is relevant.

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  • thehouseblog
    September 21, 2005

    Marketing Jesus

    I normally don’t copy somebody else’s post and put it here, but this is just way to good.

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  • Scott
    September 22, 2005

    Wow. This surely is interesting.
    I have not seen the campaign so I cannot comment on that in and of itself. However, it is great to see the church, as a whole, come together to spread the message.
    For those who think Jesus and/or Christinaity is uncool. You certainly are entitled to your beliefs (that’s what’s so cool about God, he lets you choose). Just as I am entitled to believe that humanism is uncool. Just like beauty, it is all in the eye of the beholder.
    I also have to ask the “atheist” among us, what did you plan to accomplish by posting what you did? You make no valid arguments and spout off tired and simple humanistic rhetoric. If you are attempting to get me to see your way and admit that there is no God, you will have to do better than this.
    Using logic is a good place to start. But don’t expect anyone to stand up and say “you know, he/she is right” based on what boils down to the equivalent of childish name calling.

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  • thebossofyou
    September 27, 2005

    God lets you choose because god is an absentee landlord, my friend. He isn’t there, hence your illusion of choice given by god. That choice is given to you by yourself.
    And what are you trying to acomplish by posting your message, Scott? What is your post achieving? The argument here is that the church is wasting money on crap instead of helping people like they should.
    Nobody is attempting to make you see that there is no god. You will find out soon enough. The notion of god is not logical therefore you cannot treat it with logic. Using logic is not only the worst place to start, it is also completely pointless starting at all.
    If you need an imaginary friend in your life then that’s your problem. Just remember that we have medication for that now. Those voices need not bother you any longer Scottie!

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  • Scott
    September 27, 2005

    Belief in God can certainly be argued logically. Using weak and unthinking arguments like the one above is juvenile as well as a good source for providing insight into your “philosophical” accumen.
    But let’s return to your original “argument”. The church spent $250,000 to reach more people for Christ. Now you argue that they could have done more good if they used that money to help the poor.
    Let’s just say that for every $1,000 spent they reached one person (not very good by marketing standards). That would be 250 people reached. Now let’s say that those people make an average income of $45,000 a year. Let’s say that these people give, on average, 5% to the church ($2250). Now the church has $562,500 that can be used to help the poor.
    Your argument is the equivalent of saying that the money the Red Cross uses to advertise could be better spent helping the poor.

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  • thebossofyou
    October 5, 2005

    Yep. When you cannot succeed with your argument you might as well attack me, isn’t that right Scottie? You persist with being able to prove your God logically but you are yet to provide that “logical” evidence. I won’t hold my breath. As for being juvenile, I’m not the one calling others names, now am I Scottie?
    I didn’t specify the “poor” per se, but let it be the poor… who cares. The problem I have with your little bit of armchair math is that you make some really interesting assumptions; among those is the one assuming that for every $1000 you will reach one person. How did you come by that figure? How do you know that any of those people give anything back to the church? Are you assuming they are all christians? The church should be helping everyone regardless of their faith.
    Helping people does not mean giving them money. The church could invest in accomodation, healthcare, food and finding employment for those without. Instead they blew half a million on a TV commercial and you are telling me that they have done the right thing? Are you insane?
    Jesus will not help people… only people will help people.
    And speaking of Red Cross, that is just about the best charity out there who not only manage to find funds for [very sparse] advertising but also help an innumerable ammount of people. The church could learn a thing or two from them.
    Your argument is the equivalent of saying that spending half a million on telling people that Jesus loves them is a helpful thing. Believe me, a love from an imaginary friend will not fill your stomach.

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  • Bill Hutchison
    March 19, 2006

    I like the campaign, but they are lacking on the follow up. I went onto their site and requested an information pack to be sent to me here in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, but nothing showed up. That was quite a few months ago, so it is very disapointing that such a well thought out and developed campaign can’t follow through with it…

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  • Jaded_Revenge
    March 20, 2006

    What Jesus said was cool, good? IS meant to be the theme of this advertising campaign. Do people read the bible before they say these things.
    Among other things, Jesus condones and instructs on beating slaves. At one point he refuses to heal somebody because of his race.
    Jesus said some good things, but according to the bible, he said some pretty disturbing things (I will come to bring the sword ‘or’ talking about how you must hate your family).
    Once more, many of his parables appear to be stolent from earlier Asian philosophers.
    This advertising campaign IS about organized religion. The first clue is the actors saying “I’m not religous”…
    Why aren’t these people religous, because christianity is not a religion, its the truth.
    Nope, it is a religion. I just thought the mainstream christian society was a little above an advertising campaign, like the fundamentalist christian ones I see in the newspaper about the apocalypes, or the corny seventh day adventist ads. Guess I was wrong. A new way to waste 1/4 of a million dollars.

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  • Pete
    April 2, 2006

    I’m not cool. I dont care. I’m happy. Happy isnt cool is it? I guess I should be pitied.

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  • Kate Manning
    August 7, 2006

    Watup in the House of God?? Jesus is cool bud. I don’t know what earth you are living on but he is “in” man. He has been “in” for the last two thousand years too… There is no need to ‘pretend to make it cool’ because it is ‘cool’. And I am down with it.
    Jesus would have been like an awesome R&B tidy town bloke. He would have had the rhythms, the beats, and he would have been breaking it down on the streets. I mean, he was a street fella. Probably would have had the dirty scruffy hair kinda look. Definetely the designer stubble, and who knows, maybe an old school Chuck Taylor.
    Some people here have got to get in the flow, and see that the message doesn’t change (if you think it does) but it’s the methods which do. But that’s true for anything – music, fashion, style. And that’s what we mean when we say history does change. Because our perception of it does change.

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  • Geoff
    November 11, 2006

    What amazes me is that almost no-one has commented on how organised religion, per se (regardless of which one) has been basically been the flashpoint for every major world conflict/war in the last however-many-years… and it CERTAINLY is now, in the post 9/11 age. So my question is this… how can any remotely responsible, reasonable, educated person argue that it’s a good thing?. I KNOW that God, our creator – of whom we are all a part, wherether we like it/realize it or not – exists.The thing is, organised religion is NOT about God… it’s always been about controlling (by scaring the shit out of)the masses… motivating them to do one thing or another for untlimately political or commercial purposes.

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  • Laura Freeling
    May 18, 2007

    Being stoned to death is just a part of life. Accept it, it is what Jesus wants. See the video here:
    And after watching this, don’t forget that Jesus Saves!
    Organized religion is the excuse as to why a 17 year old girl needs to be murdered in such a way. Can you imagine? Can you imagine the pain and suffering of this poor girl? Being stoned to death? Kicked, beaten to death?
    Organized Religion is Bad News, and for people in America, I certainly hope they will wake up and see what organized religion spawns.
    Is this what you want?

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  • Barb
    October 22, 2007

    I am a practicing Christian but the present campaign makes me want to cringe in embarrassment. God is too awesome to be advertised like cornflakes. The ad would turn me right off Christianity if I was searching for answers.

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  • Neil
    September 30, 2009

    Anything which can get 1,500 churches in Sydney to agree to focus on Jesus has got to be a good thing. I work at a Christian School in Sydney where students come from 120 different churches. These adverts, banners and events are just a great excuse to remind Christians they have some good news and to start conversations. If you haven’t seen the final advert check it out here

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