Getting the Devil to Market Christianity

This Monday, The Prayer Channel, a Catholic religious television station in New York, will be rebranded as NET (New Evangelism Television).

In order to market the new station, NET is enlisting the services of the Devil.

“The Church has used the good vs. evil conflict to promote religion for two centuries,” [a spokesperson for the Cesario Migliozzi ad agency] added. “In our campaign, the Devil urges viewers to avoid good TV and stick with ‘crappy, pointless, bad television,’ said Ad Agency partner Michael Migliozzi in announcing the new campaign. “There is even an online petition fronted by the Devil, in which viewers pledge not to tune into NET.”

Cute? Perhaps.

Actually, I take that back. At the website StopGoodTV.com, you can speak to the Devil himself. He’s kinda freaky. And he doesn’t even answer your questions properly, choosing instead to stick to a prepared script.

This isn’t the first time the Devil has been used in an ad campaign by Christians.

Remember the God billboards?

Satan replied to those, too:

I understand the mind of the marketers. But even Christians looking at these billboards know it’s not actually Satan doing the talking.

If a church wanted to be effective, they wouldn’t use Satan in their marketing to bring people to church.

They’d use atheists.

Imagine the power and publicity of a billboard featuring an atheist (or an actor portraying one, anyway) saying he refuses to go to a particular church. I’m sure Christian ad companies could figure out plenty of reasons why the atheist wouldn’t want to go… it’s too Godly? It makes him think too much? He prefers to be a loner? He doesn’t want to give up his immoral lifestyle?

Real atheists would see past all that, of course. But for people who don’t know any better? I could see it being (unfortunately) effective.

(Thanks to Paul for the link!)

  • http://ununtentionalatheist.wordpress.com Closeted in Academia

    When I was involved in christian worship music, we used to sing worship songs about, or sometimes to, satan (“and the God of peace will soon crush satan, yes God will crush him underneath your [sic] feet”). People would really get animated during these songs, rebuking satan “in the name of jesus”, shaking their fists, etc. talking to satan in this way allowed them to vent their hatred in a supposedly healthy way.

    Since then, I’ve learned that satan is a proxy for my (our) own propensity to do evil or self-serving things. It’s a split personality of sorts – and externalized at that – say that jesus lives in my heart, and therefore I am good, and all the while shaking your fist at satan “out there”. I didnt become a whole person until I recognized my own ability to choose between doing what’s right and doing what’s not right.

    I think christian fixation on satan amounts to self hatred.

  • Chas

    Cool, it could be like those annoying Mac/PC ads:

    C: Hi, I’m a Christin.
    A: And I’m an Atheist.
    (Atheists scrunches up his increasingly red face)
    C: Hey Atheist, What are you doing?
    A: I’m trying to vent my anger at God.
    C: You be careful. You’re starting to look like the devil.
    A: (Obviously pleased)That’s good, right?
    C: No, it’s bad.
    (Christian shakes his head knowingly, and quickly smirks at the camera)
    (Fade out with Cross(tm) logo)

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    “The Church has used the good vs. evil conflict to promote religion for two centuries,”

    Was I the only one reminded of this?

    While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be “a good and happy family”.

  • http://www.secularplanet.org Secular Planet

    It must be a marketing campaign sold to a lot of churches. It’s almost identical to one I blogged about here in Orange Park, Florida: Reverse Stupidity.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    Well, the way I see it, Satan is a really classic choice for Christians. I mean, how can you have good, if you don’t have the evil against which to measure it. Christianity needs Satan as the representative of evil, so that God or Christ can be the representative of good. Isn’t an atheist supposed to be a fool, blinded by Satan into not believing? Why advertise with a proxy when you can have the big boss? Of course, advertising with athests does have the advantage that at least they’d be real people.

  • http://www.nautblog.blogspot.com Sean the Blogonaut

    Don’t give the xtians ideas, they have form for stealing good ideas you know :)

  • Jen

    “Satan you’re my lady,
    Stick me with your pitchfork thing”

    I am perfectly willing to be that actor atheist. “I don’t want to go to X Church because they are sooo Godly, and I am soooo evil, and I am going to party all night with beer and sex and sinful card playing and have a hangover on Sunday and not go to X Church. They are sooo Godly.” I think this would be the role of a lifetime, especially since I would have all sorts of new friends on Saturday nights.

  • http://noodleguy.wordpress.com noodleguy

    I think Chas has had the best idea yet. Turn Mac/PC ads into Christian/Atheist ads. I think the possibilities are endless.

    The scene opens. On a blank white background there are two people. One of them is a dirty looking fellow who hasn’t shaved in several days. He is wearing a red T-shirt with a hammer and sickle on it. In the other corner is a nice looking guy wearing a suit.

    C: Hello, I’m a Christian.
    A: And I’m an Atheist.
    [Atheist is sitting at a table with a pile of money, and is counting it]
    C: Hey Atheist, what are you doing?
    A: Well, I’m counting how much it will cost for my super-expensive and unnecessary offensive Bus Ad campaigns to run.
    C: But Atheist, shouldn’t you be spending that money in donations to the communist campaign, MoveOn.org?
    [Atheist's jaw drops]
    C: Silly Atheist.
    [Christian shakes his head and smiles winesomely]

    I would watch those ads :lol:

  • Eliza

    Why don’t Xians seem to follow Xian teaching when it comes to Satan?

    Turn the other cheek

    Give him the cloak off their backs

    Pray for him

    Hate the sin, not the sinner

  • http://worldwidepubicrelations.com Ted Faraone

    Guys,

    Really, it’s just an ad campaign. My PR firm was hired by the ad agency to promote the campaign to the ad trade press. It more or less got a life of its own and was featured on CNN. I have no idea what the religious opinions of anyone involved in the creative are except for mine.

    Cheers,
    Ted.

  • Awesomesauce

    Poor Satan, the most infamous scapegoat in this country. I’d feel bad for him/her if s/he existed.

  • mark

    A: (at work, working hard, minding his own business)

    C: hey watcha doing
    A: working so i can make a living and provide for my family
    C: Oh…why dont you pray for money…
    A: because that is stupid.

    god is not real, the bible is a fairytale. and the bus ads are not offensive to christians. its reaches out to non believers, merely saying you are not alone. if you saw a billboard that said “suffer from migraines, Your not alone” would you be offended if you do not suffer from migraines, no because it is stupid. if you can put up ads then so can we its in the FIRST ammendment. that means if you actually ever read the constitution it wouldn’t take you very long to realize that your argument is retarded.

  • Epistaxis

    I was trying to figure out if Satan even reads the submissions, but then he had to say “I know your IP address!” and I was creeped out because I’m more afraid of these folks than Satan.


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