I ran into an article about Obama’s re-election store and decided to check it out. As much as I disagree with the president on the majority of social and economic policies, I must say that his re-election store is a stroke of marketing genius.
You can get everything from mouse pads, to bumper stickers to expensive collector’s pins sets. My personal favorite, and one I found humorously tongue-in-cheek, was the Made In America birth certificate mug. I think it pokes a bit of fun at the whole “birther” scandal.
I believe one of the main reasons Obama won in 2008 was because of the savvy marketing of himself. The same could very well hold true in 2012. The Obama marketing machine understands that people want branded things to show their support for whatever it is they support, including presidents. Next time you’re in a convenience store, check out all the trinkets and do-dads around the counter that are branded. There’s everything from wallets to pill cases to lighters to phone covers — all with the logo of your favorite rock star, band, or celebrity.
Not only could Republicans learn from all this (I haven’t seen a Mitt iPhone cover yet), but the church could also learn something. We live in a generation in which brands mean something and people are now more visually stimulated than ever before. Information about everything is literally at our fingertips in the form of standards such as the internet, to phone apps, and now these.
Studies have shown that the new front door of the church is its website. As technology progresses, it will be the app, and who knows what after that. This study revealed that 77% of visitors believed the church’s website was important to their decision to visit the church. We shouldn’t look at people as lazy or unspiritual because they choose to “visit” the church online before they ever set foot in the real thing. That’s just how society is today.
I’m not suggesting we turn Jesus and his message into something trivial like a bumper sticker, a keychain, a t-shirt, or a phone app. But, as far as his church goes, web presence, social networking, and rising social and information technology has become a new kind of mission field.
The church should be taking advantage of new technology in order to communicate a timeless message. It seems we’re always playing catch-up.
More than anything, we should discern cues from our culture and think of ways that we can reach them where they, with Who they need (that would be Jesus), to get them where they need to be.