Well, I reckon it’s safe to say that the current Old Spice advertising campaign is a marketing hit — if not a phenomenon! Although I’m not sure how much Old Spice it’s selling (UPDATE: its apparently boosting sales 107%), it works a treat for raising brand awareness.
And it’s got me thinking about what technique Christians should use to promote Jesus.
Try to picture this situation:
A work colleague asks, ‘What do you make of the whole boat people situation?’ You desperately want to give an enticing and distinctively Christian response. You know, something gracious and seasoned with salt? Something that points to Jesus in a compelling and meaningful way without hijacking the conversation altogether. But what you manage to blurt out sounds a lot like the Old Spice add –‘Look at your question … now look at Jesus … now back to your question … now back to Jesus … Jesus is on a horse’.
Maybe I’m being unfair. I’m sure your responses usually makes more sense than that. But that’s how I sometimes feel when I’m trying to articulate why I believe in Jesus and how that makes a difference to my whole life.
Obviously there’s work to be done in joining the dots — figuring out how to get from Jesus to our urgent real world problems and questions (and back again). But I wonder if the Old Spice technique is really all that bad. I suppose it probably depends on how high we set our expectations. On what we hope to achieve in those few moments before the topic of conversation changes.
Would it be so terrible to embrace raising Jesus’ ‘brand awareness’? After all, we know that not everything necessarily hinges on that one moment of conversation. And yet in terms of the rich tapestry God is weaving even such a slender thread may prove incredibly significant. Especially if it declares: ‘This Christian person is actually convinced that Jesus makes a difference — a real difference’.