“Share your life instead.” – Outreach Media

Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Featured, Thoughts | 8 comments

Outreach Media are never without new ideas. This month, while close to infringing on copyright restrictions of the brand, is based around the iconic branding of Coca-Cola, and makes a play on the current branding strategy “Share a can with…”. It’s also a launch ad for a new website and campaign called “Share Your Life With Jesus“.

Let’s look at the Outreach article and the poster first.

The article starts off with a romantic tale about how Coca-Cola ads in the 8os made us feel happy and free, but that they are in fact an empty promise, because at the end of the day’s filming the ad, the paid actors disperse, and that’s the end of that. But then it gets weird, and Outreach doesn’t realise that they are actually doing themselves a disservice by pointing out a few things.

“That’s the thing about Coke. It’s manufactured. And everything it does is well… manufactured. Manufactured sugar water, manufactured fizz. For more than a hundred years Coke has been manufacturing a promise.”

Right so the promises of Coca-Cola are empty because the product and the message are manufactured? The same can be said of religion, for all religions are manufactured, by man, for the dual purpose of control and appeasement. I’m not sure that Coke’s message of “Fun with friends and refreshment” are that ludicrous, and they certainly hold no candle to the claims of religion. As we see here:

“And the promise is that if you drink Coke then you’ll have a rich and wonderful experience of life with gorgeous, popular people right at the centre of the crowd.

“One deep insight that Coke has understood really well is that we love to eat and drink with each other. We say: “Hey, let’s catch up for coffee” or “Let’s ‘do’ lunch”. So Coke ads almost always show people sharing great experiences.”

Of course, Coke is a private company and its in Coke’s interest to know its audience and appeal to them. The promise they deliver is far more likely to happen than eternal life at Jesus’ side, even if you do share a coke with him. And it’s hardly a deep insight to know that people enjoy eating and drinking together.The article continues:

You see, when you break bread with someone you’re sharing a profound experience. It’s as basic as surviving together. But it’s much more. There’s the delight in taste, texture and presentation, and, when someone provides a meal, all the excitement and expectations that surround the giving and receiving of gifts also come into play.

It’s not because it is a blessed time, give to us by God-on-high, it’s because it’s a time when we can gather, reflect, communicate and share. These are the important aspects of food and food-times. We all love it and look forward to it, and through centuries of eating end experimenting, we have developed culinary diversity as varied as the many lands on earth. It is true, food times are special, and many of us share these with our families and friends, but I wonder if Outreach aren’t placing a little too much importance on the act in a religious context here.

Outreach Media thought this message so profound that they decided it was worth devoting and entire website to it “Share Your Life With Jesus“. Basically, this site is the same thing as the article accompanying the poster, emblazoned with Coke-style branding and asking, at the bottom, in a simple survey whether you want to, already do, or don’t wish to share your life with Jesus. I’m dubious as the purpose of this survey, but let’s look further.

“It’s important that a decision to be come a Christian is an informed decision. However if you already know lots about the Christian faith then don’t procrastinate! God wants you to begin your life afresh and the sooner the better.”

If it were true that the decision to become a Christian needed to be an informed one, then surely they would offer us alternate viewpoints, but of course, this is not the aim of this website. All they offer is 2 links, one to  a passage attributed to Luke at BibleGateway and the other to a website called MatthiasMedia. Not much to really help inform us about the world, really.

If Christian proselytisers spent as much time promoting actual goodwill to all men, and really strove for the betterment of society in a meaningful way rather than peddling stuff like this Christian marketing campaign, just imagine how much good they could achieve. Instead, they spend their time trying to win converts, or to deepen the faith of the faithful. For all the preaching coming from Outreach, there is little of substance offered here.

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8 Comments

  1. This is a hoot, because it was Coca-Cola that popularised Santa Claus, and it’s probably Santa Claus that got millions of children to realise that the presents kept showing up year after year whether they pulled their sisters’ pigtails or not.

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  2. Another irony: Coca Cola is working closely with medical charities to allow them to use Coke infrastructure and marketing channels to distribute medical aid like oral rehydration kits.
    http://www.colalife.org/2012/02/21/the-ors-question-answered-by-you/#comments

    So Coca Cola stealing more of religion’s territory!

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  3. Share the can with Jesus? A little too kinky for my tastes!

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  4. Ask a Christian this. If you were in heaven looking down on everybody else who was in hell, how would you feel? Oh look, there’s grandpa who used to give me money every time I visited, he was a wonderful man, but didn’t believe in god. What do you do in heaven? Play whatever games you want? Have all the sex and food you can handle? Go fishing and hunting? Watch TV ’til you’re tired and retire to sleep on a cloud? Visit with your friends and family who made it to heaven? Heck, we can’t stand each other on earth for crying out loud. Make sure god isn’t watching you do something selfish in case he decides to change his mind and send you to hell. As far as I’m concerned, any god/deity that creates a hell for his children should be the first to burn in it! You godlodytes are nuts!

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    • Without a hell there is no real and lasting justice in this world.

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  5. I’m often amazed various church posters/advertisements never get pulled for copyright infringement. Some of them are so blatant, you would think somebody would have something to say. Just another example on one rule for religions, another for everybody else I suppose.

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    •  This poster doesn’t break copyright law. It’s called the parody or satire defence.

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  6. Share Your Cash With Our Church.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Pepsi.

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