By Gregg Brekke
After several months of build-up, the United Church of Christ is releasing its new 90-second commercial, titled "The Language of God," this upcoming Friday, April 16.
Unlike past ad campaigns, where traditional television outlets were utilized as the delivery method, this message is being released in an online format. Seeking to virally spread the message across its diverse constituent base, the UCC is asking its 60,000 email newsletter subscribers and nearly 31,000 Facebook fans to use social networking to distribute the ad to their online friends and communities.
"I love it - it's so inclusive," said the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries, who previewed the message at a meeting of the UCC's five-member Collegium of Officers last week. " 'The Language of God' is a great theme. It visually tells all about who we are."
Describing herself as a person who is "not a technocrat," Jaramillo said she embraces the Internet-based message and the use of technology, saying of the viral marketing strategy, "It's so exciting that thousands – and possibly hundreds of thousands - of people will see it within a few hours."
The video message was produced by Think Media, a national advertising firm known for its edgy, innovative video work. Its household-name clients include the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cleveland Clinic, Progressive Insurance and Nestle, among others.
Leveraging the existing graphic identity established by the Stillspeaking campaign, the UCC will purchase targeted ads – directing people to the video message - on Facebook and the most widely trafficked blogs.
A culmination of many efforts and events, the weekend also sees the UCC releasing its new publication called StillSpeaking Magazine, the debut of Stillspeaking Voices, a fundraising dinner commemorating the UCC's decisition to relocate to Cleveland 20 years ago, and the installation of its new General Minister and President, the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, on Saturday.
Commenting on the consistent visual theme presented in the new commercial and magazine, Jaramillo said, "I love that the magazine and the commercial go together and keep the message going."
In preparation for the launch, a webpage with instructions on how individuals can help spread the word April 16 has been posted. "We want the excitement of this new ad, and its potential for invitation and awareness, to reach every corner of the church - including cyberspace," says Connie Larkman, the UCC's strategic media coordinator. A DVD copy of the ad is also available for purchase.
Learn more at http://www.ucc.org/news/language-of-god-ad-launch.html?autologin=true