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Can This Marketing Campaign Make Hipsters Turn to Jesus?

Marketers can convince us to do crazy things, like tattoo brand names on our foreheads or jump out of airplanes. But can they make hipsters turn to God?

smithsonian.com

This isn’t the ad in question, but it is kind of funny. Image: Brett Jordan

Marketers can convince us to do crazy things, like tattoo brand names on our foreheads or jump out of airplanes. But can they make hipsters turn to God? One marketing company is trying, with a “hipster Jesus” ad campaign that hit the streets of Williamsburg, New York, recently.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The new advertisement is part of an eye-catching campaign to draw a new generation of Roman Catholics to the Diocese of Brooklyn. It features the bottom half of a robe-clad person, with a pair of scruffy red Converse sneakers peeking beneath the folds. It reads: “The original hipster.”

“It’s just a guy in a robe and sneakers. What is interesting to me is that people immediately associate the image with Jesus,” said Msgr. Kieran E. Harrington, who helped commission the ad.

The Brooklyn Diocese wants everyone in his borough to know that they are welcome in his church, even if they happen to be a hipster, he says. And they’re not just playing on the wardrobe either. Another ad depicts a man who is clearly hungover. Beside him it reads: “Need a better habit? Come to Mass.” These ads have already shown up in bars in notorious hipster haunts like the Bushwick Country Club and R Bar.

The church targeted hipsters for a relatively obvious reason: hipsters don’t go to church. “We took a look at the community that might be most alienated by the church and that was hipsters,” Harrington told the Wall Street Journal.

What the church didn’t know was that the Hipster Jesus meme was already taken.

 

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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