Skip to comments.Brooklyn (Catholic) diocese launches 'hipster' Jesus ad campaign
Posted on 04/26/2013 5:47:14 AM PDT by NYer
.- A new ad campaign by the Diocese of Brooklyn is hoping to attract the unchurched, with a series of posters calling Christ “The original hipster,” as well as ads designed for gyms and bars.
“We're called to go where the people are...to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ where people are, be that a bar, gym, restaurant, or what have you,” Monsignor Kieran Harrington, vicar for communications at the Brooklyn diocese and campaign creator, told CNA April 24.
“It's not about accommodating Christ to ourselves, but accommodating ourselves to Christ, changing our life; we enter into a deep relationship with Christ and the Church, and our life is changed.”
The ad which has garnered the most attention is one which depicts Christ in a robe and Chuck Taylor sneakers, calling him “The original hipster.” The bottom of the ad, placed at bus stops and phone booths throughout Brooklyn and Queens, reads “All Faces. Everyday Understanding.”
Msgr. Harrington said that though it's acknowledged that Christ was a Semitic man shorter and darker than popular depiction, nevertheless every culture produces its own images of him.
“Religious depictions of Jesus generally represent the people of a particular given day. People in northern Europe and other places often show him having blonde hair and blue eyes. Other places, in Asia, Africa, Latin America, you might see a different depiction of Jesus.”
“Well in Brooklyn, there's a lot of young bohemian type folks, and this representation is to enable them to see that we're all called to be another Christ in the world by virtue of our baptism.”
The “hipster” depiction of Christ is meant to appeal to the broad demographic of vaguely counter-cultural, Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling 20-somethings who are more likely to be agnostic or “spiritual but not religious” than regular Mass-goers.
“The point of the Church is precisely that we shouldn't think that just because of how someone dresses, if they wear Converse sneakers, that they can't come to church on Sunday or won't find understanding in church on Sunday,” said Msgr. Harrington.
“We've got to think of ways to provoke a conversation, because a lot of people come to us with pre-conceived notions about what people who are religious are like, in the same way that a lot of religious people have pre-conceived notions about other people.”
Rather than the Church “accommodating to a different way of life,” the monsignor said the ads are an effort to enter into dialogue with those whom it doesn't often encounter. “That's what Jesus did; he entered into dialogue with the woman caught in adultery, and with the woman at the well.”
An additional ad posted by the Brooklyn diocese features a photo of a treadmill and is placed in gyms with the caption: “Tired of running in place? Attend Mass.”
Another one placed in bars and restaurants shows a man “who's clearly been partying too long,” as Msgr. Harrington said, that asks, “Should I get a new habit?”
“There's a lot of noise in Brooklyn, lots of people competing for attention,” he said. “You have to cut through the noise, and this ad campaign was meant to do that.”
The “All Faces” campaign is meant to reach out to the diverse cultural make-up of Brooklyn and Queens. It runs in Spanish and Chinese as well as English, and links to a parish locator on the diocese's website.
“Whether you're from Guatemala or China or Tennessee, and living in Brooklyn and Queens, all people are welcome at church and we understand where you're coming from,” Msgr. Harrington said.
The ads note that the diocese has over 230 churches in the two boroughs. In a diocese of only 179 square miles, that should serve to remind people that they're never far from a Catholic parish.
“It's prompting people to hopefully go back to Mass,” reflected Msgr. Harrington.
“When they go to church they'll have the opportunity to hear the gospel message, which is very outward focused, in terms of how the encounter with Christ radically transforms the way I live.”
Ah, those poor souls who suffer from Hyper Involuntary Panic Stress Tension Elevation Response Syndrome (HIPSTER).
Obviously, this represents a ‘novel’ approach. More interesting would be a follow up story, a year from now, that indicates to what extent this ad proved successful.
It’s Buddy Christ!
Someone's gonna have alot of 'splainin to do.
LOL. Maybe they can resurrect (pun intended) “Jesus Christ, Superstar” and start showing that during Masses. Or suggest that some of his parables were thought up while he was smoking pot or hanging out at the coffee shop.
Kidding aside, I recognize the need to “market” Jesus. The reason the early Church was so successful is because they fit Christianity in with the cultures of those they wanted to evangelize. But the church has to be careful because marketing can border on silliness.
The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly. The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet: thy sneakers are Converse. (John 4:17-19)
Putting our good Lord in a tunic and a pair of Chucks is not going to get people to go to church. The best it will do is cause some conversation and then the people will go about their everyday business.
The Lords disciples didn’t need ads to spread the word, they did it personally. The priests need to get out of the rectories and preach the word. Doing it in church on Sunday is preaching to the choir.
The war with satan is on. The time to do the heavy lofting is now. We need some fire and brimstone preaching, and people need to know what sin and repentance are. People need help and posters are not the answer.
“We need some fire and brimstone preaching, and people need to know what sin and repentance are.”
You have to look hard for a church now a days that even comes close to talking about Revelation and mentioning Hell. It is all about the rock concert and being connected electronically during the service. There are churches out there that preach the whole Bible, luckily I found one.
Instead of the priests giving a sermon about the last movie they saw, they need to stand before the people and tell them the truth. That just coming into church and paying lip service and going out and voting for abortion activists and homosexual marriage defenders doesn’t cut it. Either you follow Gods law or civil law. If we followed Gods law there would be no need for civil law.
Revelation needs to be taught. They need to know there is a hell. They also need to quit taking the antichrist as a joke. They are not going to get a vote when the Lord comes.
These poor deluded simpletons.
Jesus is eternal. He doesn’t care to be in their 21st century and he doesn’t weak Nikes or any modish footwear.
Grow a brain you God-less pretenders!
Uggh. This must be part of the ever-popular “pastoral” party line.
I think the Holy Spirit is capable of handling more than one campaign for souls at a time. In fact I believe He is tailoring an individually designed campaign for each of us.
When the churches turned membership retention a goal for money and growth instead of spreading the Word is when preachers and priest (not all) starting the Joel Osteen sermons. Only giving half the message is just as bad as not giving one at all.
Was He talking on His cell phone?
Buddy Jesus! (From the movie Dogma, for those of you not getting the reference)
When I was somewhat critical of the TV series on the History Channel that was supposedly based on the Bible, I was assailed by my fellow believers that “This will reach people who don’t know Jesus and will be a great tool for evangelism, etc etc”.
My response was to suggest we wait until the Sunday after the series ended, and see if there was a massive increase of Church Attendance due to all the people in the massive TV audience who now wanted to know MORE of Jesus, because they were SO inspired by this presentation.
I am still waiting, weeks later.
I humbly suggest that this “campaign” will have the same effect.
They didn't even market Jesus like this in the 60's. Maybe, just maybe, if we went back to the basics the hard to reach will still listen. I don't know, the Church did it for 2,000 years. Why is it sooooo different now? It's beyond silly. It's blasphemous.
C’mon now, he was TEXTING!
Poppycock. "Hipster" Christ is perhaps the ultimate example of seeker-centered, marketing-based religion I've yet seen.
Egad! The title of the piece alone makes me shudder!
Good one, Sarge! :)
This does not elevate Jesus as God’s son but denigrates him as someone who is earthly and not heavenly!
I (we) don’t need a Jesus in sneakers. He is who He is....and ever will be. God who came down as a man, but God nonetheless. Period.
See related thread:
I’m not crazy about the sneakers ad, but the others sound quite good to me. Good messages and placement.
It is always good to know that Jesus loves you, unless you are in a Mexican jail.
Oh, man, that’s tacky ... but I laughed anyway.
Sometimes there's a reason to be Hyper Involuntary Panic...uh you get the point.