The Church of Scientology's new ad campaign suggests that we're all immortal, and as such is slightly more specific about what the cult-like religion stands for than its previous ads. That's a significant step for Scientology, which has previously used disingenuous CraigsList ads and a TV campaign that merely promised "the truth" (as long as you show up at one of their centers, of course).
Scientology's web site has also been significantly revamped, and is now a swirling, animated, video-heavy environment where things keep wobbling out of the way when you try to click on them.
It's all part of a trend for modern religions. The Mormons also recently launched an ad campaign to get new members. Unable to rely on centuries of religious history, they're both turning instead to online media to spread the word among the curious.
The new Scientology ad features young, attractive people turning toward a bright light. The narrators say:
This is an invitation to freedom. Man can save his soul. Like a bright, cool dawn after a night of prison.
You are a spirit. You are your own soul. You are not mortal. You can be free. You have been invited.Say what you like, but immortality is a unique selling proposition. It also explains why Tom Cruise doesn't seem to be getting any older. It's a bit mysterious as to how, exactly, we can all become The Highlander, which speaks to an internal marketing problem at Scientology. The church is not deliberately keeping its beliefs secret. Rather, Scientology creates all its advertising in-house, using members who eat and breathe Scientology 24/7, and they lose their objectivity and fail to connect with people outside the church, according to Steve Hall, a former marketing chief for the organization. The church also inexplicably fails to utilize the talents of Cruise or other members with marketing experience, and it doesn't deal with outside advertising agencies who could bring some consumer perspective to the client.
- Mormons Try Rebranding: "We're Just Like You!"
- Scientology Uses "Secret" CraigsList Ads to Recruit New Members
- Only Certain Types of Christian Ads Welcome in Super Bowl
- Q&A: Scientology Marketer Describes 'Stinking Horrible Mess' Inside Church