Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Peeved With Promotions

I don't usually listen to the radio, either because I don't have the motivation to drown out whatever my sister is playing (with the exception of that one German punk rock song.... ICH WILL!!!***spit spit***), or because I find the radio song choices either distastful or boring. Recently, however, the CD in the van was skipping, so I turned it on to Shine FM, the Christian station here in Alberta. The songs were ok. The commercials, however, sure rubbed me the wrong way.

I understand the need to play commercials, because that's how a radio station makes its money. And I can understand it using promotional tactics aimed toward a more Christian audience than a station, say like Jack or CJ. But when it starts using lines like "Your body is a temple; why pollute it?" to introduce an organic food sale, or "Bring God into your mortgage" to promote a certain lawyer... umm... does anyone else have a problem with that?

God is God, not something to be commercialized! The idea behind these ads is to use God or aspects of the Faith to bring in money to some individual or organization. God as a means toward your own end. Having Christmas so commercialized is bad enough, but now, all of what's holy? This can't be right! Salvation is a gift from God, not a tool to help you sell things. I don't believe the people who made those commercials were trying to be disrespectful, but I'm peeved, nonetheless. What kind of sick, consumer driven culture are we that we dare use the sacred to lure in more customers?

To use a line like "Jesus told us to help the orphans" in a sponsor-the-kid campaign - that I can live with. But a "This product is more godly than this other product, so buy your stuff from me" just doesn't sit well, like the common "I'm a Christian, so it's better to hire me than someone else."

Well then, what about the mass marketing of the Nativity and Passion movies, which I love? While the fact that Hollywood produced them only for a profit is disgruntling, selling a rendition of those stories on DVD is a little different from using God to sell a product that would otherwise be considered "neutral" in terms of Christian/non-Christian standing. Go ahead and sell "Christian" things, but don't cheapen the gift of salvation buy turning it into a promotional tactic.

And now, to entirely reverse the situation, I saw a brochure for a seminary with the slogan "Seminary - your way". Ppft. Please. That's right, forget God, it's only about what I want, apparently.

Because it shows what I'm talking about:
Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film. They advertise memories.” Theodore Parker

"They sell fruit, but they don't advertise fruit. They advertise Christian living."

Let what is godly speak for itself.


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Emily said...

Great post, Carla! My thoughts exactly.

Bri said...

I don't have a whole lot to add, but good thoughts and I agree!