Religion And Advertising Just Don’t Mix

American Humanist Association's
American Humanist Association

At first, I had a difficult time wondering why, for any reason, someone would launch a $40,000.00 ad campaign that asks: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”  Was this some sort of sarcastic reference to one of my favorite holiday songs?  Or a pitch from an obscure religious group of some sort?
The American Humanist Association, a Washington-based group, has entered into the yearly battle between commercialism and the true meaning of Christmas – but for the first time, in a very public way.
“We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you,” said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”
The ads and posters include a link to a site with the purpose of connecting like-minded individuals in the D.C. region.
The actual proof, however, may well reside within the polled responses to the campaign provided by AOL:
Clearly, the majority of respondents say they participate in Christmas, and nearly as clearly, the ad campaign isn’t appreciated by a wide majority of respondents.
Edwords continued to support the campaign by noting that its propose isn’t to argue the existence of God, or change anyone’s opionions, although “we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people’s minds.”
Whatever your position, the campaign doesn’t seem to be changing any behavior or attitudes toward God or the holidays.  To me, it only helps to illustrate that religion and advertising simply aren’t compatible mates.
What’s your opinion on the campaign?

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