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LDS advertising campaign elicits 'significant increase' in website visitors

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  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    July 5, 2011 2:29 a.m.

    A couple of million dollars for billboards could be spent on more humanitarian efforts, of course. But really, if by now after all the help the Church has been recognized for in worldwide disaster relief hasn't been noticed, will a couple more weed cleanups or soup kitchens suddenly tip the scales and have the public go "Those Mormons are something else!" The Church gives multiple millions of dollars to charities, service and relief, all without the thought of it being "advertising". To allocate a tiny percentage of available funds, really, to reach more people by a very effective means is not only good business savvy but, um, inspired, I think.
    Note in the story it said a huge number of hits were from mobile devices (read 18-35 age group). Me thinks the same people that can be turned off to the Church in seconds (i.e the internet) will with the same quick attention span be spurred to seek the truth through this medium.

    Kudos, top brass. Bro. Hinckley would be proud, I bet.

  • Larry Lawton Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    July 4, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    May I briefly respond to O'really and Jmort?

    In doing so, I understand I risk violating the sacred injunction that, when doing alms, one should not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. We work quietly, often through other charitable and religious organizations. We share the credit, even though we are usually the sole source of the funds

    Here in Asia, we have many humanitarian service missionaries, supervising the use of humanitarian donations in countries where, believe me, much is needed. Countries where our proselyting missionaries are not allowed are learning about us through this quiet service to their people.

    The Perpetual Education Fund is up and running in every possible country, and the benefits I see bring tears to my eyes.

    For those of you who have contributed, thank you!! Please understand that your gifts may not be as widely publicized as our mission to bring the gospel to all the world. They are, however, deeply appreciated here.

  • Lucas APO, AE
    July 3, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    I think one of the best things about this campaign, is to help many of us who live in places where LDS are a tiny minority, to be more courageous to say we are Mormon. I like the campaign.

  • sg newhall, CA
    July 3, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Personally I take offense to such ads that showcase an individual and at the end the payoff is "Oh, I'm a Mormon." Why am I offended? Should I really care whether or not you are or not? No. No other group tries so hard to advertise who or what they are. Frankly, I don't want to know. It's rather condescending. It's as if after all I've done or hey, look at me, I've done this and I've done that and oh did I mention that I'm a Mormon? I don't care. Just be genuine in your dealings and caring for your fellowman. A Mormon need not make a public declaration of what church they belong to. Hey everybody! Did you know I'm Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic? Treat me with kindness even if we can't agree on religion. But hey, I'm just like you. I do a lot of the things you do. Love me. Embrace me. And yet, within the Mormon culture there is a sense of falsehood caring for our fellow beings, ie home teaching. No one in their right mind honestly cares about this. I don't favor this type of campaign.

  • Zelph Kinderhook LOS ANGELES, CA
    July 2, 2011 4:31 a.m.

    Gee, if the "I'm a Mormon" campaign is so effective, then why, on YouTube, there's always 4 or 5 times more "dislikes" than "likes" on these videos?

  • albu1595 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 30, 2011 3:15 p.m.

    The Athiest:

    What was the point of that post? Your name: The athiest. Your Comment: (in summary) I'm a athiest. So are you trying to preach to the readers of the desret news that you don't believe in Jesus Christ in the thread about LDS correspondence and marketing...Um...how is that relevant to this story? I don't believe that there is not a God? Still irrelevant.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    June 30, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    zer28,

    When Jesus comes again, he will not be able to be captured on cameras, just as Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Big Foot cannot be captured on camera. All these creatures have the ineffable quality that makes them impervious to such evidence.

  • zer28 Ogden, UT
    June 30, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    dlw7 - "I find it hard to believe that when the Savior comes again He will be on TV or on the billboard in Times Square."

    So do you think that when Christ comes again that we will have reverted back to the stone age? Will cameras no longer work? You don't think the return of the Savior will be front page news? Will people no longer be able to perform their jobs just because Christ is back on the earth?

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    Meaningful conversations (ads)about the Church through any appropriate medium of communication is fine with me. Generally, as long as the message clarifies the truth, (and uplifts the individual), our time, money, and efforts are well spend.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    June 29, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    O'really said "I think I'd rather call attention to ourselves by doing Christlike service than putting up enormous billboards."

    I totally agree with O'really on this. Think of the good we could do (and the people we could convert) if we took the millions of dollars we spend on billboards in Times Square, etc. We could videotape/document the results, invite shows like "60 Minutes" and "Anderson Cooper 360" to cover them, etc. I think we might do better by attracting people who are interested in helping the poor and needy rather than passersby in Times Square.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    June 29, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    If the church is doing it (advertising) then God is OK with it. It comes down to these 2 questions....Is the church true? Is it run by Christ? If you answered yes to these two questions then we know Jesus Christ is OK with this campaign. End of Story.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    June 29, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    Idaho Coug

    We are pretty normal in the everyday world (aside from Word of Wisdom, modesty and chastity- but we're not the only religions that actually practices these ideals. It's only in our relgious beliefs that we are different...somewhat. Actually we're not all that different from other religions. We believe in God and Jesus Christ and life after death. We have solemn services in the temple. Some other relgions have their temple-type worship, too. We are different in our wedding venues but and our parties are a whole lot less wild. But aside from that, we're really pretty mainstream.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    June 29, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    One of the primary missions of the Church is missionary work and increasing membership. Marketing campaigns and mainstreaming efforts are a smart way of doing this.

    But I think there is a danger that the more mainstream we try to appear the more stark the differences may appear when people learn of some of our beliefs and practices that quite frankly are not in the least mainstream. On one hand this is smart marketing and will grab people's attention. And on the other some will feel a bit of a bait and switch when learning are doctrines and beliefs are not as mainstream as ads like this may lead some to believe.
    When they see the ads and go to Mormom.org they hear testimonials that do not talk about the more unique beliefs. People learn that later and it can feel to some like they hadn't been given the whole story.

    I think there is a bit of a modern day struggle going on in the Church. We want to be seen as normal and just like everyone else. But we really aren't. At least our beliefs are still very unique and out of the mainstream.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 29, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    To my friends "truthsandwich" and "KM", you prove my point about being thin-skinned.

    The reaction to the play "The Book of Mormon" shows it is still an issue.

    I know the history, and it is my heritage. Want the Church to become a world religion? Take the criticism and not let it get to you. It doesn't change who you are, does it? Don't let the history and terrible experiences of the early Saints govern your life today.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    June 29, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    I think I'd rather call attention to ourselves by doing Christlike service than putting up enormous billboards. I'm always a little put off by billboards from other churches. This campaign just seems a little over the top of "look at us" rather than "Come unto the Savior". Think what all the money used for the billboards could do to help the needy, finance kids college from third world countries, support more missionaries, etc. I think there are much less haughty ways of setting your light on a hill. I'm actually embarrased by this.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    June 29, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    The LDS Church is a fantastic organization. Even though I disagree with some (well, many)attitudes and beliefs, I must say that I have never met a Mormon I didn't like.

    The LDS church has a lot to offer and for many people around the world is a source of strength and faith.

    LDS leaders are smart, pragmatics, and know how to work the market an technology. I think, it is always good to try to dispel misunderstandings.

    Using this marketing at the same time of the success of "The Book of Mormon" in Broadway....genius!

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    June 29, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    Bachmann is beautiful; besides Reagan was elected on his looks alone. Even as president he was a good actor---just prop him up and tell him what evangelicals want to hear.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    June 29, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    not fit in SG

    Is it advertising or is it a campaign to share the gospel as Jesus directed that it should be ... throughout the world. Go to all nations and preach my gospel, I think he said something like that. The naysayers will always find something to be offended about. But watch as the gospel rolls forward so that every ear will hear about Jesus.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    June 29, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    @jsf - Interesting thought. Never thought about the Second Coming being televised. I always sort of pictured the big broadcasting stations (NY, LA) going down with the destruction that precedes the event. I don't know for sure, of course, but I don't think the Savior needs artificial means to announce His coming in order for the whole world to know. What do the rest of you think?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 29, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    dlw7 |
    I rather think that when the lord comes again, it will be a tv event. I'm not sure but I think a scripture says the whole world will know when he comes again.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    June 29, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    Good for the church. Christ said, "by their fruits ye shall know them." Have people speak their faith. Can't argue with the results. They are happy and not pushing their beliefs but sharing.

    The whiners, haters, mutterers and wimps will never be happy. They are like radical Islamists... never happy with Israel until it's exterminated.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    June 29, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    In this article Bro Richard G Hinkley says,"It is one thing to read a list of beliefs and try to determine what it means. It is quite another to see those beliefs in action in an individual you know." That is why missionaries (who be the way, teach and preach the gospel, not advertise it) are anxious to have their investigations come to Church and meet the members. I find it hard to believe that when the Savior comes again He will be on TV or on the billboard in Times Square.

  • Moxley Sorrel Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    No matter the product you're selling, you've got to spend money to make money.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    June 29, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass - I'm posting this so late in the day that you may never see it, but churches all over the country have huge PR and ad budgets. Many of them use the $$ to buy broadcast air time, others to purchase large billboards on major highways, still others to buy ads in newspapers. Some use all of these and more. Methinks you are too used to the image of the LDS Church as being holed up in Salt Lake City while its detractors take as many free potshots and make as many unchallenged attacks as they wish. I don't know if it matters to you or not, Ernest T., but those days are over.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    June 29, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    Within the last 2-3 years the church asked the members and the media to STOP referring to ourselves as mormons. We were officially asked to use the full name of the church or "Latter Day Saint" if I remember right. Now the church is advertising and referring to its members as mormons. What's up with that? Are we or are we not supposed to refer to ourselves as Mormons?

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    June 29, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    Big thumbs up here, I like it.

  • truthsandwich RANDOLPH, UT
    June 29, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    @ Esquire
    "Just remember, the higher your profile, the bigger the target. You can't be thin-skinned anymore"

    You seem to be suggesting that Mormons need to prepare themselves for verbal attacks as though this were unknown territory, and the religion hasn't encountered this every single day since Joseph Smith began to be persecuted at age 14. Today, Mormons are one of the only groups against whom open predjudice is still socially acceptable.

    But thanks for the heads up, we'll do our best to adjust! =)

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 29, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    "Should be interesting to see if other religious denominations hop on the Mormon bandwagon"

    Google "religious advertising". Seems the Mormons are slow out of the gate.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 29, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    no fit in SG | "Advertising a religion? Seems weird."

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    Isn't that a request to advertise a religion? Isn't that what missionaries do when they go door to door?

  • TexasMom Flower Mound, TX
    June 29, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    I don't know about inside of Utah, but outside of Utah religions do advertise. Several churches even give/sell their members yard signs to put in their yard saying which church they belong to. Others post huge banners outside their house of worship. Still others put ads in newspapers. Also, we frequently (especially around religious holidays) get many large, full-color post card type advertisments in the mail for various denominations. We have billboards around town with churchs on them and I remember several billboards with "messages from God" and "I am number 2" campaigns. I have no problem with any of this as this is how they get their message out.

    Come to think of it, wasn't Christ sending a message when he made the "trimphful entry" into Jerusalem? How about the Star of Bethlahem? All "advertisements" if you will using methods that would attract attention and spread The Word using methods of that time period.

  • ElkBowhunter IDAHO FALLS, ID
    June 29, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Who has said that being a Mormon makes "you better qualified to be President."? If you want to support that "crazy Tea party lady", then by all means please do...

    I think the advertising is wonderful, not only for those with a reservation about voting for a "Mormon", but for all of those folks that have been fed anti-Mormon propaganda from any number of sources. People who know nothing of the LDS faith, and it's true beliefs, are now "invited" to find out for themselves what the Church is all about. Sounds familiar doesn't it..."And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God..."

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    June 29, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    To Romney and Huntsman vs the crazy Tea Party Lady. I have in front of me information from the three candidates for POTUS. Only MS Bachman's asks for my opinion on any of the issues. That crazy lady wants to find out what voters think and feel about the issues. The lady is crazy like a fox and has a better understanding and support of the Constitution than the other two combined. I'm working to elect that crazy Tea Party lady. Being a Mormon does not make you better qualified to be President.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    June 29, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    Advertising a religion?
    Seems weird.
    Should be interesting to see if other religious denominations hop on the Mormon bandwagon and duel for the best spots in Time Square. Who will have the largest and brightest advertisement in that famous tourist spot in New York City?
    Thought it was supposed to be a "spiritual kind of thing". Wonder if this is what God had in mind........
    Ah, but glitz and glamour does sell!

  • avid reader Menan, ID
    June 29, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    We lived in up state NY last year as senior missionaries and the" I am a Mormon ad campaign was on TV." We received many positive comments from New Yorkers who are not Mormon. They said they thought it was a good way to help people learn that Mormons are people just like them. As we talked to them they asked questions about the church and we were able to answer questions of misunderstandings about the church. We didn't receive any negative comments about the ads and they were played regularly. One man at a big outdoor market in Rochester who was selling his wares said, "I think the ad campaign is brilliant." Thats what I think about the billboards in New York city, "they are a brilliant idea." They are a great help to missionary work and especially dispelling misconceptions about the church. The electronic age is both good and bad, but these ads will help the church go forward. We know who is in charge.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    "Typical advertisement. Do you think the number of people of color in that ad actually represent an accurate proportion that exists in the church?"

    1) Yes, I do think that... when you consider the purpose of the advertising campaign. These advertisements are not meant to simply say 'we have Blacks, Hispanics, etc.' - they are meant to say 'unlike what the media and our critics have often told you we have Blacks' Hispanics, etc. and actually are a religion of diverse people'. This is designed to counter the false images portrayed by the others.

    2) Although in reality, yes, the ratio certainly isn't that high, you also living in Utah means you see a much less diverse view of the membership than others. If you worked in the church and had access to those statistics that's one thing... but we truly are a diverse religion... UTAH is what isn't diverse. I Love Utah, but we are a very white state statistically... and I believe that it has nothing to do with the church as there are always more things to consider.

  • TexasMom Flower Mound, TX
    June 29, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    dlw7 said, "However, my issue is the idea of "Advertising" the Church to make it more socially acceptable to people."

    I understand what you're saying but I don't think the advertising campaign is to make the church more "socially acceptable to people." I think it's to get people to want to Come Unto Christ and part of that is removing negative stereotypes, and showing people the practical application of the gospel in people's lives.

    I see nothing wrong with advertising the gospel. Advertising is basically just a word for "getting a message across". And as someone else on here mentioned, you can't get the message out if you hide it under a bushell. How will people know unless we tell them?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    After reading a couple of the recent comments I suggest we ask ourselves a few questions...

    "I'm looking forward to the day when the Utah LDS loosen their proprietary cultural grip on the gospel and start maturing." - Is that official LDS doctrine? Does being outside of Utah automatically, or even probabilistically, make one less of a Mormon? I have seen trends of 'Utah LDS children do this better, and do this worse' - 'non-Utah LDS children do this better, and this worse' etc and I've noticed patterns that are sometimes contrasting, but I have never seen anything to show me that Utahn's are less Mormon than others or that Utah has a proprietary cultural grip on the Gospel.

    The Gospel is not gripped by anyone, it is not controlled by anyone, save for God himself.

    When people judge Utah Mormons they not only are casting judgement, they do it at their own kind. This is simply far from reason and the question of maturing isn't with non-Utan Mormons, but those who would judge a Mormon based on where they live or where their from.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Goleta,

    "Do you think the number of people of color in that ad actually represent an accurate proportion that exists in the church?"

    Considering the majority of LDS members live outside of the United States, with large populations in the Philippines, South and Central America, and Africa, I'd say that yes, it's pretty accurate. :)

  • WA-Aggie Kent, WA
    June 29, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    Goleta - Your are correct. It is not representative. There would have to be way more South Americans included since they are such a large membership. From the outside, you may not know, but there are more Mormons outside of the US than inside. Sounds kind of like Mormons are all over the world.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    June 29, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    Well said bluecoug, most of the critics of Utah are currently living in Utah and assume that no other state or country has it's own "culture" or religious influences.
    I grew up in Utah until high school, then moved out of state.
    30 years later I moved back for several years and was quite amazed at the faithfulness of the members with regard to family history and temple attendance.
    Hence the many temples around the state.
    So there must be alot of good being done in Utah.
    And I also heard the rumor that the Prophet lives there too;)

    And if it weren't so "dang" cold in Utah I'd probably live there again too.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    bluecoug89
    I agree that the use of the electronic age to transmit General Conferance and other such information around the world is a great thing. I grew up in the mission field at a time when we had to wait for the Era to be published to read the talks from General Conferance, so I really appreciate being able to watch it on TV.
    However, my issue is the idea of "Advertising" the Church to make it more socially acceptable to people.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    June 29, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Irony Guy. Look at the fist quorum of the Seventy. There are a lot of Hispanics and others there. Pres. Uchtdorf is a German.

    Because of the way the church is organized it takes a long time, perhaps 40 years, for somepne to work his way to the top.

  • Goleta Holladay, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    Typical advertisement. Do you think the number of people of color in that ad actually represent an accurate proportion that exists in the church?

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    Here we go again with "Utah mormons". Look Iron Guy, I myself have lived outside of Utah for many years and served a two year mission in Mexico and I can tell you that "Utah Mormons" really aren't that much different. I saw the same stuff here as I did in Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and California. Anywhere you go there is going to be good and bad. I have seen it. Maybe they aren't the ones who need maturing. . .

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 29, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    Fascinating that the Church is emphasizing a new image of broad diversity. Jesus invited all nations to come to him, and gradually they are. Now I'm looking forward to the day when the Utah LDS loosen their proprietary cultural grip on the gospel and start maturing.

  • eagle651 Chino Valley, AZ
    June 29, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Anybody checking out other church's web sites for their opinions on this public relation or "damage control", [your point of view]?

    I'm certain they have some comments. We have given them something to talk about on Sundays, I hope not all negative.

    Their input is a valued resource and can help us address some problem areas, as they to are our brothers and sisters also.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    dlw7 | 8:33 a.m. June 29, 2011
    LOGAN, UT
    I was not aware that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ needed an "advertising campaign" to make them socially acceptable to everyone. People's lives should speak for Mormonism not some Broadway show. We have to live in this world, but we do not become a part of it.
    -------------

    Of course our lives should speak for Mormonism, but if a tree falls in the woods but there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

    "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

    "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt 5:14

    With modern technology that light can be seen across the world. Hold it up -- on billboards, on satellites, on the internet. Those who seek love and truth will recognize it for what it is, and be drawn to it.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    Aggielove: So LDS and Scientology feel the need to advertise and fund large marketing campaigns.
    Interesting correlation.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    dlw7:

    I personally agree and disagree with your comment. I agree that we should be living in such a way that people see how we act and want to be around us and get to know Christ but I am not sure I agree with your comment about the advertising campaign. The church has always tried to use the most up to date resources to get itself out there. For example, the Book of Mormon was printed on the printing press. I guess that they could have just written it down by hand and made a few copies of it but the through the press they were able to make thousands of copies and give them to thousands of people. They were using their resources that they had in 1829. Also, in our day we have general conference broadcasted to the whole world. I guess some people could go, listen, and then travel around the world reciting what they remembered hearing but that would be ineffective. Another example of the church using their modern resources. Why shouldn't we do the same with this advertising campaign? This will effectively spread the gospel.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    June 29, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass | 8:35 a.m. June 29, 2011
    Bountiful, UT
    Do any other religions have such a huge advertising and marketing department?
    Recommend
    Recommendations: 0

    Church of scientology

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    I love how the church is using different resources to get us out there. Some people are afraid of it and say that we are conservative and maybe we should go back to how we were before but we live in the 21st century. We have so many advancements in technology and in communications and why should we hide from that? We should embrace it! Some say that they are use to just missionaries doing the work and nothing else. My comment to that is that Elder Ballard (I think) once said that his vision of missionary work is that the MEMBERS do the finding and the missionaries do the teaching. As we have seen in earlier posts, members have had the opportunity to answer questions and find people based on this new type of publicity. That is fantastic! Isn't that what advancements are for? To improve our situation and spread the gospel? And that is exactly what is happening. It is amazing! Let's get even more out there and if it brings criticism let it be. When have we not been criticized? But if we believe this to be true, why fear what others have to say?

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    June 29, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    I noted the sentence: "Since they couldn't arrange to get more Mormons to live in more neighborhoods around the country...." Clearly this was just a liberty taken by the author and not a policy considered by Church headquarters. But I chuckled at the prospect of receiving in a big white envelope "...you have been called to live in Bellvue neighborhood of Platteville Wisconsin. It is anticipated that you will here indefinitely. As a resident you will retain meaningful employment, teach your children to ride their bikes, and participate in community activities."

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Bring on and bring out the detractors. Please! The contrast makes the Spirit of Truth stand out even more.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Do any other religions have such a huge advertising and marketing department?

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    June 29, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Its cool to see the church get its name out there via advertising. I like this campaign because lets face it the U.S. in general is full of stereotyping. Many have never took time to even research what Latter Day Saints even believe in, instead they just settle for what the media has to say. I hope they continue to do this, its cool to see.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    I was not aware that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ needed an "advertising campaign" to make them socially acceptable to everyone. People's lives should speak for Mormonism not some Broadway show. We have to live in this world, but we do not become a part of it.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Pa. Reader,

    "Those who continue to refer to the LDS Church as traditionally conservative are often talking about politics and nothing else."

    That's an interesting take. My personal opinion is quite the opposite. If we're following the counsel of the Brethren, we're conservative in appearance, dress, speech, and conduct. We don't have alcoholic drinks with our friends, we don't gamble, we don't smoke or get high, and we don't sleep with our partners before marriage, while in some cities around the world, those behaviors are the norm. We're also counseled to be fiscally conservative in an era when many people aren't.

    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you that it's entirely political.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    June 29, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    If we use the word straight when we think of something being right, or in line, or by the book, then why would gays think there correct in being gay, and then they refer to nongays as being straight? Victims of there own lack of communication skills.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Dear Pa Reader: That was a good one. I love it when Democrat members of the Church try to wax eloquent in rationalizing their political views. It's quite interesting.

    The Brethren know exactly what they are doing. The Lord is in control and he knows how to use every communication advancement to continue the stone rolling forth from the mountain. He will turn adversity to his advantage. Those occupants of the "great and spacious building" will find no lasting success in their ridicule of the Church. It will be turned to good.

    The new campaign is fantastic.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    June 29, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    esquire

    "can't be thin skinned anymore?" Thats a good one. Tell that to all the saints who have defended their faith or to Joseph and Hyrum.

  • boris Provo, UT
    June 29, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    As a New Yorker I can't tell how much more I've had an opportunity to talk about my faith and church since the Book of Mormon has been on Broadway. The Church's response and effort to make lemonade from lemons only makes it easier to have these conversations.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    June 29, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    I'm a genealogist and I'm a Mormon. My experience is that other genealogists who have had opportunities to rub elbows with members of the Mormon faith -- whether at a family history center, at the Family History Library, or other genealogical venue -- hold a much higher opinion of Latter-day Saints and are less easily swayed by negative, smear campaigns. Their personal experience demonstrates to them that we are likable, good people.

    That has also been the case for my non-Mormon neighbors here in central Illinois. We had one family that moved into the neighborhood shortly after us who tried influencing others regarding us. But again, once people got to know us, they disregarding what the other family was saying. Several of our neighbors attended our sons' eagle scout court of honor. I announced that I was never a good boy scout, but I knew God lived and Jesus is the Christ and that has been the governing principle of my life. I received very positive feedback, and even got a hug from one of my neighbors for being so bold in this declaration.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 29, 2011 6:39 a.m.

    Church media is so full of colorful images. So many black, brown, yellow people in everything from church mags to Tab Choir camera shots.
    And the crusade for amnesty.
    Bikers, skate boarders, former gang members...
    Sometimes I wonder if there's room left for...me.

  • GAmom Athens, GA
    June 29, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    I think this is great! I just last week had a neighbor tell me she had seen this billboard on a visit to NYC and is made her curious so she went to the website. It actually opened a venue for her to ask me some questions she had wondered about but didn't ask before because she was afraid I would be offended. Her comment was something to the effect of "since I saw the board I figured if your church was doing that you'd welcome the questions". Bring them on!!

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    June 29, 2011 5:20 a.m.

    Those who continue to refer to the LDS Church as traditionally conservative are often talking about politics and nothing else. While it is true the majority of Church members in "conservative" areas such as Utah and other western states share the political views of their neighbors, that should have nothing to do with their LDS membership.

    The point of the current ad campaign is to highlight the diversity of our members, not just in the US, but worldwide. The truth is each ward and stake, minus western transplants, is very much like the community in which it is found. Attending one sacrament meeting in central Utah, and another in New York City or abroad, are very different experiences, and members of each congregation can learn a lot from one another.
    The Church is not a political body and those voices within the Church who insist on politicizing everything are outnumbered by reasonable, faithful Saints from all backgrounds, races, and nations. Isn't that wonderful!
    By the way, to quote a wise man, "This is not 1830 and there are not just six of us anymore."

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 29, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    Just remember, the higher your profile, the bigger the target. You can't be thin-skinned anymore.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    June 29, 2011 1:53 a.m.

    I think this is a good campaign for the very reason that it 'de-weirds' Mormons a little bit. When you grow up in Utah, then move away, it's kind of shocking to hear what everyone thinks about Utahns/Mormons. After all these years, I defend the Church a lot.

    *I totally disagree with the Church's stance on gays and gay marriage, though.

    But I think Romney and Huntsman are miles more qualified for POTUS than that crazy-eyed, gaffe prone Queen of the Tea Party.

    Obama 2012.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    "anonymity gives the uneducated and misinformed an outlet for their nonsense, when in person they would be laughed to scorn."

    I couldn't agree more. in fact... can I quote you on that?

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 28, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    15 and 10 years ago the Church was slow to enter the cyberworld. It hurt me to see so much negative on the the net. Anti's would about deface reviews of LDS books on Amazon comments. It seemed like the Church wouldn't or couldn't move into cyberspace. Now they've move ahead of the curve and have a presence that far exceeds even the visions I had of what could be if someone would notice. I'm really impressed! As I look back on how this happened I can see that they were never behind the curve at all. They took the time to build a solid foundation for their entry into the cyberworld--not just popcorn going off at random in the pan. They have prayed about this and put as much effort into this as any endeavor the Church has ever undertaken. How firm a foundation!

  • katiefrankie Provo, UT
    June 28, 2011 11:05 p.m.

    I served a mission in Queens and Brooklyn and would have loved to see more of this during my time there. Being in New York felt like I had been dropped into an entirely different world, and there were so many people to meet and speak to from different parts of the globe that I rarely talked with someone from the Northwest where I grew up, much less the U.S. Even coming from the west coast, people were so unfamiliar with Mormons that they weren't sure we celebrated Christmas and even took offense to me saying I was a Christian. I am excited to see the Church's incredibly savvy efforts to connect to the world through the internet - it is in so many ways the pioneering vision of President Hinckley and his experience with the Church and media resources.

    I was lucky enough to help with the temple open house at the beginning of my mission - it would have been so neat to walk across Times Square with a long skirt, buttoned shirt, and name tag with that huge ad high above our heads helping us preach the gospel!

  • called2serve249 PROVO, UT
    June 28, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    I was thinking the same thing. Every single Mormon-related news piece I have ever seen in every conceivable venue--literally hundreds--have almost immediately turned into an impromptu ecumenical council about the evils of Mormonism. Then people either turn to your typical anti-Mormon tripe they heard from a preacher last week, or someone quoting inaccurate historical information as justification for hating Mormons, Mormonism, Crazy Joe Smith, etc.

    This is the greatest danger of the internet; the anonymity gives the uneducated and misinformed an outlet for their nonsense, when in person they would be laughed to scorn. 'Tis theworld we live in, I suppose.

  • eagle651 Chino Valley, AZ
    June 28, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    The LDS Church has always been very conservative and formal. I hope doing this damage control does not backfire and we lose ground with our long established quality standards for the sake of public relations.

    From the old school, just a little bit "nervous".

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Cue the gay marriage, anti-Mormon, and other completely unrelated comments in 3... 2... 1...

  • Indian Expat Bangalore, Karnataka
    June 28, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    It seems odd to me to see Mormon billboards next to glitzy Times Square ads. I guess that I'm just old school. I still see Church marketing as missionaries in white shirts and ties, or neighbors inviting people to Trunk or Treat. But I guess any honest marketing opportunity to give someone a positive image is fine. It just strikes me as odd for some reason.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    June 28, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    It was a great idea to use the "Book of Mormon" play and its advertising to the benefit of launching this ad campaign. People hear of the play, then see the billboards, and are starting to think beyond the lights and music of Broadway.

    Well done!

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    June 28, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    Its interesting how modern media sources can bring out the worst and best of humanity. I'm glad the LDS Church is using the new media to brodcast the true character and image of the church, to push back at all the modern day mobs and their lying tactics.