studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Monday, November 17, 2008

Godless Christmas?

The American Humanist Association, has just spent $40,000 on an newly-produced atheistic Christmas campaign. First, let me state that I have nothing against atheism. I live in a country that offers religious freedom, as well as the right to believe that a god does not exist — it is a complex individual decision, and I leave it at that. Now, back to the point of this post.

I can’t be sure, but if I had to guess, I would say that roughly $37 of the $40,000 went towards concept and layout. In my opinion, this campaign is uninteresting, uninspiring, and quite possibly a complete waste of money. What is the call to action, to stop believing in God? I’m not a religious advocate, but I’m guessing the success rate of this campaign should top-out around 0.0017%. Here’s my unsolicited advice...If you’re going to spend money on a campaign in which 95% of the earth will dismiss it almost instantly, make it MEMORABLE. Use humor, use hypocrisy, make it visually seductive, have it challenge the viewer’s notion of what religion is. These ads are nothing more than a failure of marketing and advertising.

The fact that an atheist group had the guts to produce godless Christmas ads does not in itself make these a success. Take PeTA for example. This is a group that is unafraid to confront its audience, can be unapologetically irritating, and is unrelenting in its cause. Whatever you might think of PeTA as an organization, they run a well-executed, top-notch ad campaign. Sure, they may be viewed as exploitive, or overtly sexual, but they are high quality, well designed and photographed, but most importantly, they are memorable ads.

I admit it, I would have loved to written a post about an interesting new atheist ad campaign, but after seeing these, I might just head on over to, and see whom they’re upset with for wearing a fur coat — it will be more enjoyable.

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