Busted Halo
feature: religion & spirituality
September 22nd, 2002

A Marketing God

 
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The leader of our organization (Jesus) always was a savvy marketer, a marketing God, if you will. He knew his audience, he knew how to reach them, and he wasn’t afraid to go up against the competition to gain His fair share of the market (in His case, of course, he relentlessly pursued heart, mind, and soul, as well).

In the days when he roamed the earth in the flesh, he made the most of the media that was available to him: the spoken word. It’s amazing to realize that He got us where we are today by simply starting with his voice. If there were a Word-of-Mouth Hall of Fame, he would certainly have his tunic hanging up in the rafters, as a symbol of his greatness when it came to delivering his message to his audience.

I’m happy to report that even though there are infinitely more players scrambling for our attention these days (and many more types of media), J.C. Enterprises still has a presence in the world of marketing and advertising. For me, the best example of this is practically right outside my door, in the form of outdoor advertising, which I pass by all the time.

Picture this: I’m driving down the road in my ride, and I come upon a billboard for “Sahara Show Girls,” a gentlemen’s club in a nearby town. The sign tries to entice me with its picture of a beautiful woman who seems to be wearing little more than a cowboy hat. Not only that but for my convenience, they have VIP rooms and open at 11 a.m. so I can beat the lunch rush.

I drive a quarter of a mile further and I see another huge billboard. This one is for “Live Exotica,” a similar club (I’m guessing) that offers fine dining and “Sexy Girlz.” Apparently they think that it doesn’t take much more than spelling the word “Girls” with a “Z” to drive a guy wild.

I see lots of these types of billboards, all advertising something different. My favorite one is for Benihana Japanese restaurant. At Benihana, they slice and dice your food with surgical precision over a hot grill, toss it in the air and amazingly have it land on your plate. On their billboard, they show one of these chefs striking a pose, with his Ginsu knives ablazing and the headline: “Live Show Grills.”

But in another locale, between the two strip club boards, and not to be outdone, there is a simple white neon cross and the words “Jesus Loves You” in a pink neon script. This beacon in the darkness is brought to you by the River of Life Community Church. I’ve never been to this church, but I suspect that they, too, offer beautiful women, and beautiful men, no doubt.

That’s JC for you. Presenting a simple, understated yet compelling message that actually is in the best interest of the audience. Unlike most advertisers, he’s not trying to manipulate you, over-sell you, or even get you to “buy.” In fact, he’s not selling anything. He’s giving it away.

I’m glad my fearless leader is still being as shrewd as a snake and providing a great example of being IN the world, but not OF the world. It’s good to see that two thousand years later, He’s still effectively competing for air-time, market share, and “mindshare.” These days, more than ever, that’s an encouraging sign.

 
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The Author : Chris Cabrera
Chris Cabrera has a wife and two offspring and writes from Los Angeles.
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