This week’s bulletin cover rocks!

I know, I’m a dweeb for mentioning something I did and calling it great. But this weeks bulletin cover turned out really nice.

What does God want for you? Um… guess you’ll have to come Sunday morning and figure it out. I’ll complete the dweebness with a shameless plug…


Almighty Bad Marketing

EvanalmightyLast night, Kristen and I were supposed to see the new movie Evan Almighty. Their publicist, Grace Hill Media, had a great idea… invite pastors to come preview the movie so that they could talk it up before it comes out.

From a marketing perspective, this was a great idea. Invite me to something exclusive and I’ll tell 100 people about it. Brilliant!

For me they not only failed, they irritated and embarrassed me.

Good marketing idea
Like a ton of other youth workers, I got an invite to a screening a couple weeks ago. I clicked on the link and "RSVP" for the event. In the past when I’ve done these your RSVP meant you got to attend. Note that it didn’t say "RSVP for a CHANCE to see the film." We made a plan and we even invited a couple friends to make an evening out of it. In my opinion, this was a great marketing scheme because the movie is aimed at Christians… and in a local church no one is more influential than the pastoral staff. Good job, Grace Hill.

The worst kind of marketing

We all know the stuff we see on TV is often garbage. If a product were so good, they wouldn’t need to spend millions telling us how good it was. We’d know! (The best marketing is free) You buy the stuff from the infomercial and it just doesn’t work. They want you to spend four easy payments of $25 to buy a product… and you feel dumber for buying it in the end. This is how I felt when we showed up at the theater last night. We drove 40 miles to a movie theater in Southfield. (An hour!) We arrived, frustrated by traffic, but there on time. And what happened then? We were told the event was full. Even though we had  RSVPed and gotten a confirmation… it turns out that we had really just RSVPed for a chance to attend the event. This is the absolute worst kind of marketing. The bait and switch. Worse yet… I had invited someone else to come for a chance to attend the screening. So not only was I annoyed that I got snookered into driving 40 miles for a chance to see a $8 movie… I snookered 2 other people as well.

Good marketing
would never make someone feel like they were important only to disappoint and embarrass them in the end in front of their friends. Good marketing would never leave someone hanging in the lobby empty handed having to tell their friends they were an idiot.

But bad marketing would. And Christians have shown again and again that we are willing to put up with bad marketing… just go to any bookstore and you’ll see that.

Well… not any more. I learned a big lesson about "Christian marketing" last night. While there are major strides being made last night was proof that bad marketing will always be alive and well.