To native New Yorkers members of the Mormon Church might seem a little peculiar, but hopefully that will change with the new advertising campaign launched by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The LDS Church has created a buzz of activity over the Internet with the launch of the new “I’m a Mormon” advertisement campaign. This campaign differs from other LDS advertising campaigns, in that it doesn’t directly focus on preaching doctrine.
In a recent news release, Elder Richard G. Hinckley, executive director of the Missionary Department, shared the vision behind the new advertising campaign.
“During the past several decades, we’ve used media focusing primarily on what we believe,” Hinckley said. “This effort focuses more on who we are because of what we believe.”
The ads will refer people to the mormon.org website, where they can read the profiles of more than 30,000 Mormons, chat live with representatives who will answer questions about the faith and watch dozens of videos giving a glimpse into the lives of Latter-day Saints from all over the world.
“Generally, misconceptions arise as a result of inaccurate information,” Hinckley said. “When people are better informed, misconceptions about us tend to diminish.”
BYU advertising professor Kevin Kelly agrees with Elder Hinckley.
“This campaign breaks down all the stereotypes that people think about Mormons,” Kelly said. “You can’t define what a Mormon is just by looking at one profile.”
Kelly worked with the Missionary Department as a chair on the Media Task Force that helped assist in the development of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign.
BYU advertising student, Abby Young,22, from Salt Lake City, has been able to see many of the advertisements while interning in New York City.
“It’s such a smart, contemporary portrayal of our people that resonates so well with this generation,” Young said. “It reminds the world that behind all of our quirks and peculiarity as a whole, we are still individuals with unique stories and passions that just happen to share a common belief.”
Christine Elizabeth Clark,22, a senior from San Antonio double majoring in advertising and acting, left her New York City internship before the release of the new advertisements but was able to see profiles on mormon.org.
“The Church seems more relateable to the rest of the world,” Clark said. “It’s nice seeing the Church use a simple voice that the masses can understand.”
Others have taken notice of the new campaign. Actor Zach Braff from the medical comedy TV series “Scrubs,” shared his thoughts on Twitter after seeing an advertisement on top of a New York City cab.
“The ad on this cab makes being a Mormon look super fun,” Braff tweeted on June 30.
Profiles on Mormon.org show members of the LDS Church having fun and being normal individuals. Member can upload a profile on Mormon.org and bear their testimony while sharing about their life.
“We are genuine, authentic and non-robotic,” Kelly said. ” We are not naive or polygamist like many people think we are. We are a lot like everyone else. We are not strange, we just have different beliefs.”