You’ve probably noticed that the Methodists, Evangelical Lutherans, and the Episcopal denominations have all launched major advertising campaigns with some others to follow. I wrote the book on branding in the religious and non-profit space, but I have to admit, this is a real chicken and egg thing.
While I’m all for organizations telling their story more effectively, you have to have a unique story to tell in the first place. In other words, what has changed about these mainline organizations that have been dramatically losing membership over the last decades? After all this money spent on advertising, will new members show up and see something different?
Apple’s advertising works because it simply tells the story of great products. But do these and other mainline denominations really have a new brand / story / vision (whichever word you are most comfortable with)? The advertising has changed, but has the experience in the pew? Are they just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic?
Any mainliners out there who can comment? What do you think?