You have seen them all over the place, especially at events where Christians abound. They adorn the shirts of the “believers.” And quite frankly, they look stupid to the rest of the world.
“Them” are those knock-offs of name brands with Christian logos and scriptures — from the John 3:16 made to look like the John Deere logo, to the words “Jesus Christ” written in the Coca-Cola font. Yes, we know He is the “Real Thing.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of cleverness. I am even a fan of parody. However, I am also a realist when it comes to marketing, and these things only appeal to “members of the club” for the most part.
I brought this up in our to other Christians awhile back. I learned that many in our group agreed with me. One 20-something even said, “it looks cheesy to others.”
While sharing the Gospel is not necessarily a “marketing” function, there is marketing involved. When Christians put forth products in the name of Christ, we are essentially marketing on His behalf. When we create knock-offs in His name, don’t we cheapen His message?
The point was driven home to me while watching television. A Morningstar meatless patties commercial came on. The announcer kept going on and on about how it looks and tastes like a grilled hamburger.
The scene showed these patties on the grill, in a bun with lettuce and tomato, and being enjoyed by “happy” vegetarians.
My first reaction was “if being a vegetarian is so good, then why do they have to try to make it look like meat?”
If being a Christian is so great (and it is, trust me) then why do we feel the need to look like something else? Shouldn’t we be happy with our own identity?
Parody may get someone’s attention for a moment, but it is just that. How many Weird Al Yankovic albums do you own?
If you own one of these shirts, etc., you don’t have to throw it away. Just realize that it is what it is.
Be original. Be authentic. People can see through all that other stuff.
What other forms of marketing have you seen misused, by Christians or any other group?