The Mormon Church makes ads to show they’re a “normal” religion.

July 2, 2012

Mormon and proud!

The Mormon Church claims their new ad campaign has nothing to do with Mitt Romney running for President of the United States, they’re just promoting Mormonism as a normal religion for everyday people.  Many billboards like the one above have been put up in various markets around the country, including a glitzy board in Times Square, New York.

I miss the peep shows…

Rather than politics, the Church says the campaign is an effort to assuage widespread belief that Mormonism is a cult. Not surprising GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney denies involvement or support of this campaign. I’m not sure I believe him or them. But when it comes to politics and organized religion I get pretty cynical.

As for organized religion, I don’t want to get into a debate on what constitutes a “normal” one. For me, all religions are based upon belief in wild notions. Nothing in the Mormon dialectic is any less fantastic than countless stories in the Old Testament. The big difference with Mormonism is how relatively new it is.

Though it may come off as preening, even desperate, I totally get the strategy behind the Mormon ad campaign. I admit to a cynical view, based mostly on my tertiary knowledge of Mormonism. I read a book on it. I’ve seen Big Love. And yes, I’m as titillated by the idea of having numerous wives as the next guy. What red-blooded male wouldn’t be? Yes, I know polygamy is an extreme component of the Mormon faith, hardly representative of the mainstream practice.

Still… A harem!

Clearly, popular culture influences the wide view. Therefore, why not use advertising to try and mitigate that? As far as the ads go, they’re mashed potatoes: a creamy blend of smiling soccer moms and dentists exclaiming, “I’m Mormon.” Creatively, I would have loved something more intriguing yet comfort food might be just the right order for offsetting the exotic perception of Mormonism.

Finally, as we celebrate Independence Day it is fair to note that one of the cornerstones of our free society is the right to practice any religion we see fit. Another is the right to advertise, even if poorly.

About these ads

2 Responses to “The Mormon Church makes ads to show they’re a “normal” religion.”

  1. Tracy said

    It could be genius… Mormonism: as diverse and inclusive and, well, normal as the iStock Photo library!

    Or, more evidence to my suspicion that outdoor is the most abused medium of our day.

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