The UCC Ejector Pew Commercial

March 28, 2006 by

Ejector Pew commercial from the United Church of ChristThe United Church of Christ, known for their headline grabbing commercial that was rejected by the networks, is back with a new ejector pew commercial. This time around a traditional American family looks horrified at the non-traditional church goers–single mother, gay couple, Hispanic or Middle-Eastern–and each one is literally ejected. The tagline is “God doesn’t reject people, neither do we.”

This time around it’s part of a $1.5 million campaign that extends well beyond TV. They’re planning a word of mouth campaign that includes airing the commercial on more than a dozen cable networks (once again, the major broadcast networks rejected the ad), as well as tapping into web sites, e-mails, podcasts, local church events and even merchandising. The commercial is available online at two UCC sites (the God is Still Speaking campaign site and a new Rejection Hurts site where people can share stories of being alienated by organized religion. There are also plans to add the commercial to viral video sites like You Tube.

“We’ve forgotten that the No. 1 way people come to faith is by one person inviting another person,” said Ron Buford, the director for the campaign at the United Church of Christ in Cleveland.

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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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13 Responses to “The UCC Ejector Pew Commercial”

  • CH
    March 28, 2006

    There is a short viral version of the clip on the site also:

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  • Nick
    March 28, 2006

    I didn’t think the commercial was that bad. Pretty creative! It isn’t any worse than anything thing else on TV.

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  • Reinout van Rees' weblog
    March 28, 2006

    Ejection seat

    Ejection by the church, captured on video :-)

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  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    March 28, 2006

    Who said it was bad?

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  • Sr. Mary Hasta
    March 28, 2006

    People will think it’s funny. But I’ve been asked to leave a church before (actually, I wasn’t asked to leave, oh, no, I could totally continue to give them my money but I really shouldn’t show up to prayer meeting and small groups any more), and it’s that kind of painful laugh, the kind where I’m laughing because I can’t cry anymore.

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  • Conservative Culture
    March 29, 2006

    New UCC ad from the Ginsburg wing of the Church

    Another witty and pointed but humerus TV ad. The single most liberal church in America spent $1.5 million to bolster their attendance and image. The new ad is the Ejector Pew ad seen here. This is the second of two ads thy have produced. This one was …

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  • Doug
    March 29, 2006

    I have a couple of problems with this ad, both professionally and as a churchgoer.
    As a non-UCC member, I find it insulting. The implication is that the UCC is the only denomination that non-judgmentally accepts people where they’re at. And while it is certainly true that there are people in almost every church (including the UCC, I’d venture) who may be like the ultra-stereotype white couple in the ad, it’s malicious to brand the rest of Christendom with a big, wide “bigot” brush.
    From a professional point of view, I’m impressed with their production values. The ad looks good. But from the latest numbers I’ve read, year-over-year membership and giving is down in the UCC. If the campaign they launched with “Bouncer” isn’t drawing in new members or revitalizing the old crowd, can it be considered effective? What’s the saying—a good ad only makes a bad product fail faster?
    I’ve always felt that when you insult a category/market that you’re a part of, you only hurt yourself in the long run. The UCC is saying churches are bigots, even if they try to say they’re different. Guess what, UCC—you’re a church, too, so you just cast yourself in the same light.
    I won’t even get into the mess of theology and unbiblical “mainstream” views of the UCC. That’s a whole ‘nother topic.
    Oh, and if a white couple with a perfect blond baby was crying in the middle of a sermon, they’d get looked at, too.

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    March 30, 2006

    Non-Judgmental, I guess

    The last time the United Church of Christ came up with a “controversial” television ad, it got a rhetorical shrug from this quarter; it struck me as earnest but mild,…

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  • MindofMike
    April 18, 2006

    Anytime a church loses its focus, or at least what it should be, Jesus Christ and preaching Him crucified, and places their emphasis on being culturally relevant, or tolerant it is failing to be the church at all. These liberal denominations are dying and dwindling year after year and will continue to do so until they “right the ship” and get back to the Bible. As far as those who have been “asked to leave a church,” the church is not meant to be an “all-inclusive club.” It is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ that is meant to have some guidelines. Some of those guidelines include attempting to restore those believers who are caught up in their sin. Sometimes this involves removing them from the fellowship. This is Biblically prescribed church discipline. So it would seem that God is much more discriminating than this commercial indicates. We wink at sin and are politically-correct and tolerant, when God cannot and does not wink at sin and does not tolerate ongoing, unconfessed sin from His people. It is irresponsible to equate homosexuality, a sin and abomination according to the Bible with single motherhood or race. The UCC has bought into the Postmodern, multiculturalistic, politically-correct mindset and it will eventually be the death of them.

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  • carol tattar
    April 25, 2006

    are you people CRAZY?? That is the
    most digusting ad I can imagine-even worse than the first one,which
    shocked me. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.To think bigotry can be combated by bigotry.
    This is an insult to every Christian virtue that I -and every Christian – hopefully embraces
    I saw this abomination on A&E,
    mercifully for the first time yesterday. Why don’t you run it on
    Comedy Central if you folks think it’s so humerous? Next time, try
    “Christian harmony” as a theme.
    Better yet, stop wasting the church’s money and send a contribution to a hunger center instead…
    An ashamed UCC in Ohio

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  • Rev. John Roberts
    August 3, 2006

    Having visited with many folks who really know the pain of being ejected and rejected by churches in a culture that is fixated on bedroom patrol…I think the ad communicates clearly the radical inclusiveness of the UCC church, you know like the radical inclusiveness of Jesus.

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  • ucc hater
    February 4, 2007

    I can’t believe they would dare to suggest that gay people are excluded from many churches! That’s ridiculous and offensive. Most churches accept gay people. As for single mothers, it’s not like anyone has ever been excommunicated for that, come on people, let’s not be offensive! That would never ever happen. Single mothers, gays, and non whites have always been welcomed with open arms at all churches. Everyone knows that! It’s offensive and wrong to suggest otherwise!!!

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  • Truth in Torah
    July 31, 2007

    If we are a people who are truly “grafted into the vine” and “the shoot from the stump of Jesse”, then perhaps there is someting to be said about being “kadosh”. Have we, by taking on the task of being “culturally relevant”, lost the ability to be “set apart”?

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