Monday, May 22, 2006

Christian Crusaders want to discuss DaVinci

That headline in the Globe and Mail (May 19, 2006) caught my attention. Why? Because with the reported religious controversy over the movie, The DaVinci Code, this sounded like a different approach. And that statement is a positive one.

The book and movie suggest that Jesus Christ fathered a child by Mary Magdalene. In the bible she was portrayed as a prostitute. Of course the author admits that his story is just fiction. And it is fiction that has captured a lot of interest – readers and viewers. The story has intrigue, exotic locations, secrets, sexual improprieties, murder and deceit. Those are elements for a bestselling story.

Understandably, some religious fanatics, Christian and Muslim, strongly object to The DaVinci Code and any public distribution of it. So what should you do if you disagree with the story and want to get your own message across?

What any smart marketer would do. Leverage the opportunity. That is exactly what the Campus Crusade for Christ is doing. Volunteers from Campus Crusade are visiting movie theatres showing The DaVinci Code to talk with movie visitors to discuss the DaVinci Code. The volunteers are not looking to protest, argue or damn anyone. Instead they will provide a pamphlet guiding people to visit the website where they can discuss and learn more. Of course the site presents the message of the Campus Crusade for Christ. And the Campus Crusade will conduct a survey of moviegoers – asking what attracted them to see this movie and would they like to learn more about Jesus Christ. That is smart marketing.

Kudos to the Campus Crusade for Christ on the creative marketing of their message.
The way to see a challenge as an opportunity. And more importantly they understand what they can and can’t change.

All those protesters – all they are doing is making more money for the movie and the book. And they help sell newspapers – because the news loves conflict. But neither one helps their own cause.

Learning Points:
Smart marketers look for opportunities to leverage their message. It could be a movie, sporting event or national holiday.

Very smart marketers leverage bad things. They ask, “How can I use this turn of events to get my message across effectively?”

Criticizing the competition is self-destructive.

George Torok
Secrets of Power Marketing

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