Doctor Who sponsorship: the Unitarian Universalists?

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So guess what denomination was a sponsor for Doctor Who tonight, the geek-affirming Unitarian Universalists? No. The United Methodists, with one of their well-made and gently affecting spots.

Instead, the new Unitarian Universalist national campaign -- the first in decades (hat tip: Philocrites) picks up Time magazine. Time, really? That just seems so, well let me be plain, dull. And expensive. Of course, the proof will be in the ad, but that's a place where I'm particularly unsettled by Unitarian Universalist practice. It just gets too precious . . . . Advertorial?

I shall wait and see.

9 Replies to “Doctor Who sponsorship: the Unitarian Universalists?”

  1. Yes, I’ve seen that UMC ad a couple of times. I find it rather precious in its own way–and utterly unconvincing because of the UMC’s official stance towards gays. (Going to a Methodist seminary helped introduce me to Methodism, appreciate Wesley and the Wesleyan heritage, and see the sufferings of gays and lesbians in the UMC.)

    I saw the article at Philocrites which you mention, and my first fear was that it was going to be another stellar youtube ad…

  2. You have a point about the UMC; indeed, I’m not keen on Ariminianism because of its tendency to morph into its own kind of Pelagianism or Holiness. Hubby and I never even considered the local liberal United Methodist church as a worship option.

    I just like the ads.

  3. Yeah, Time magazine is pretty sketchy. I never read it myself. But I can’t think of another nation-wide print publication of similar reach that I would find any more palatable than Time. Presumably, the UUA looked at the demographic data and thought it would be a good bet. And if you think about it, Time probably reaches the flyover and Left Coast states far better than New Yorker or Atlantic magazines.

    When I was doing local marketing, I discovered that the best place to reach customers was not the local newspaper (which was a pretty good weekly paper), but the little freebie shopper filled with ads. Marketing is often counter-intuitive that way. At the same time, it’s always best to measure the results of marketing. I wish the UUA would ask congregations to count/estimate the number of visitors each year, along with asking for average worship attendance and membership (which last is usually a meaningless fantasy number) — then we might be able to get a rough idea of the direct impact of any marketing effort.

  4. I’m going to stand up for the decision to run the marketing campaign in Time. Time reaches a cross-section of the country and has a strong website. Other than Newsweek or U.S. News and World Report, what other broad-based mag is out there that one could choose from? I’m more concerned about the cost of this than anything else.

    Granted……I think it would be a good idea to do something in Maxim or some other mag that is completely out of the ordinary, but I know that’s not going to happen.

  5. I don’t think it has to be one mag. In fact, I think if the UUA had looked to more unusual choices this marketing campaign would have a bigger impact.

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