where you learn how not to have sucky marketing by looking at the sucky marketing of others

2.07.2006

Athletes4Pizza?

Commmercials aired in St. Louis (and maybe other cities) during the Superbowl directing people to the Athletes4Jesus website. This is one of the worst websites I have ever seen. I wonder how much they spent sending people to this site. They should have spent some of that money on web design. Not only does this purple and teal page look cheesy, complete with rotating 3D Jesus fish/cross, the first place it asks you to click is on a Domino's pizza ad. Contrast this with another site (the link is on the Athletes4Jesus page which is one redeeming quality) for the Pujols Foundation. The opening Flash on this site almost had me crying (I said almost). If I seem to be too harsh, you may be right, but I explain my distaste for these sub par displays of Christianity in more detail in the preview to my book (read it free). Christians should be leading the way in excellence, not representing God as second class or lame. Usually the producers of this type of inferior content cry poverty, which is a valid argument, but since these guys were advertising during the Superbowl they can not make that claim. Maybe they borrowed the money and need to sell Domino's pizza to pay for it.

4 comments:

Deborah Diehl said...

Included in your article you wrote:
"Christians should be leading the way in excellence, not representing God as second class or lame. Usually the producers of this type of inferior content cry poverty, which is a valid argument, but since these guys were advertising during the Superbowl they can not make that claim. Maybe they borrowed the money and need to sell Domino's pizza to pay for it"

What is a shame is that you did not check with Athletes4Jesus for any of your facts. Our website was not meant to be a flashy, commercial website like everyone else's. Our website was meant to convey a message to Christians of all walks of life, all ages etc. Our group was obedient to our Lord and we used resources that the LORD gave to us to use. I am so glad that all of those people who called in and were either saved for the first time or rededicated their lives to Christ did not think like you do. You are focused on the package instead of the message. I am VERY confident that our Lord will not judge us on the cover of the project, but the content. You will be in my prayers that you see the error of your thinking.

By the way, what have you done to bring others into the Kingdom besides criticize others? The group of people who volunteered working on Athletes4Jesus, gave of their time, talents and their own money to get this commercial on the air. Over $100,000.00 was raised ONE DOLLAR at a time through God's love and grace. You need to stop worrying about "sub par displays of Christianity" and worry about what YOU are personally doing to save souls for Christ.

Deborah Diehl
Athletes4Jesus

Mon Mar 20, 01:38:00 PM CST
Michael Daehn said...

Deborah,

I would like to address a few points you raise:

Fact checking- This is a blog, not a newspaper column and I am not a professional reporter nor do I have a fact checking team. Blogs are a place for people to express their opinions. Regardless, I am not sure from your response what "facts" I got wrong.

Focusing on the package- The package is part of the product- in this case the message. The incarnation of God as a man in the person of Jesus Christ is packaging. Jesus removed the barriers to communication by getting on a level that people could relate to. How many people were turned off to God because of your poor representation? We have a responsibility as Christians to respectfully represent God in the best way possible to reach the most people.

Zealous- You are clearly zealous for God, but that does not mean you are doing the right thing. Saul was zealous for God when he killed Christians. Good motives do not make everything OK.

What have I done- I am involved in ministry in a variety of ways. One of the problems I face is explaining to non-Christians why Christians do silly things. By making Christians look inferior or cheesy creates a barrier to belief. I also help churches and Christian organizations effectively communicate through sound marketing that does not waste money.

Money- It is not that you can not get people to respond to a $100K commercial, you can. My point is that you could do much more with that money if you invested it better, and we will be judged on how we invested our talents and resources. For example- You build a home for a needy person for $100K and get free publicity by telling the press. Or you could hold a street party with free food and prizes that attracts hundreds of people, get Kurt Warner to speak in person or on video and get free publicity by telling the press. Etc. This will reach more people for the same amount of money. Commercials in general are very wasteful and ineffective. If you are going to use a commercial it is a good idea to direct them to a website, but we disagree as to the quality of where you are pointing respondents.

Ad hominem- It is easier to attack me and make me out to be less spiritual than you. It makes more sense to take what I am saying to heart, or at least make a rationale argument against the facts.

Domino's?- I am still curious why an ad for Domino's coupons is featured so prominently. What eternal significance does this have?

On the same team- The reason I attacked you- and it was an attack, is so that others can learn from your mistakes. If Christians could learn to be wiser in how they communicate they could be reaching many more people for Christ. I do not doubt that your intentions or motivations were anything but pure. I know that you have a heart for ministry and the goal of the campaign was to bring people to Christ. I was not attacking you personally or saying that you were not trying hard. We have the same ultimate goal and I am sure we will continue the discussion either here or in heaven. I also appreciate that you took the time to make a thoughtful response. God Bless.

-Michael

Mon Mar 20, 10:25:00 PM CST
Barbara said...

I do not think Curt Warner thought the ads (from Athletes4Jesus) shown on Super Bowl Sunday were cheesy (no pun intended w Domino's) My comment is this, sometimes the Lord himself asks a person to do something for Him. The person asked goes for it, based on faith. As they "walk" the request through, doors open, close or whatever and it comes together. The right people come into the picture, the timing and the complexities are all activated by the faith of the doer. God himself will open or close doors to let you know if you are doing the wrong or right thing. Personally I am shocked that you would say this was a silly thing. If all things belong to God (and they do)then the Lord God can use his money, his people, his whatever any way he wants to for his glory. You may have thought the web page was cheesy, but the message....dude, it was right on.

Thu Mar 30, 03:15:00 PM CST
Michael Daehn said...

Deborah,

We will just have to agree to diagree.

Thanks for the great discussion and I wish you success in your ministry.

Tue Apr 11, 08:51:00 PM CDT