The recent announcement that the LDS Church is buying advertising space to promote the actual Book of Mormon in the playbill for upcoming performances of "The Book of Mormon" musical in Los Angeles has spawned one consistent question: Who are those people in the church's ads?
Each of the three ads features one attractive Mormon face along with copy that suggests play-goers should read the book from which the musical takes its name. "You've seen the play," says one, "now read the book." Another says, "The book is always better," and the other says, "I've read the book."
All three are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all three were featured in the first round of the "I'm a Mormon" videos produced by the LDS Church's Missionary Department as a way of introducing non-Latter-day Saints to real, rank-and-file Mormons. Dall, for example, is a Filipino-American artist and a mother. Boye is a British-born musician and a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And Decker sculpts motorcycles for Harley Davidson.
It should be noted that each of the playbill ads includes a QR (quick response) code, a matrix bar code that allows theater-goers with smartphones to scan the code and watch the "I'm a Mormon" video associated with the face in each respective ad.
Think of it: It is intermission at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, and dozens of audience members are taking a break from the profane fiction of "The Book of Mormon" to watch real Mormons talking about their faith on their smartphones.
That's one reason a public relations expert called the campaign "savvy."