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Following the huge success of the Broadway musical ‘The Book of Mormon’, a reaction from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was to be expected. But the opportunism of the response – an advertising campaign – took plenty of people by surprise. It has impressed us to the extent that it’s our new ‘Ad of the week’.
Showing a sense of humour on a par with the musical, Britain’s Mormons are now running ads in the show’s theatre programme, declaring: ‘You’ve seen the play, now read the book,’ and ‘The book is always better.’
The copy is clever and on-topic. It refers to the original ‘Book of Mormon’, a text that was first published in 1830, and is believed to contain the writings of ancient prophets. While guiding inquisitive readers towards the text, the ad also plays on the comparison between books and their adaptations – something our society is fixated with.
In a press release, Mormon Church Leader Elder Clifford Herbertson points to the need to engage with one’s audience: “People are asking the question, ‘Who are the Mormons?’ and when people are asking questions, we want to be here to provide them with the answers”.
Indeed, the importance of communication hasn’t been lost on the Mormons. Supplementing the theatre programme is the ‘I’m a Mormon’ slogan, which covers 250 London buses and 10 tube stations. The copy describes an atypical image of a Mormon churchgoer, and directs people to the Church’s social media pages and website where they can ask questions about the religion.
How successful the ad campaign will be remains a mystery. But by using sharp copy to direct people to their digital platform, the Mormon Church has made a bold attempt to dismiss the notion of it being overly traditional or old fashioned.