The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched an extension of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign in the United Kingdom.
The launch of the New York City campaign coincided with the opening of “The Book of Mormon” musical on Broadway. Similarly, the launch of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign in the U.K. coincides with the opening of the satirical play in London’s West End.
The integrated media campaign will include advertisements on 250 double-decker buses and in 10 underground stations in London. The campaign throughout the rest of the U.K. and Ireland will be mainly an online effort with the mormon.org.uk website.
The Church has released 155 video portraits of Mormons since the beginning of mormon.org. Of those, 15 share the stories of members of the Church from the U.K. Those videos will specifically be highlighted in the U.K. campaign.
Bryan Rowland, a director of the mormon.org campaign, has shot and edited roughly 40 “I’m a Mormon” videos over the course of his career. Rowland said he was impressed to see how willing the members in the U.K. were to “have their faces plastered all over London.”
He called them, “very courageous in an agnostic country where religion is not necessarily looked on as a positive thing.”
Members of the Church in London are pleased by the campaign and excited to have the opportunity to shed light on their religion, of which very little is known in the U.K. Trina Milner, longtime London resident and member of the Hyde Park Ward, said she is looking forward to receiving questions about the Church.
“It is a perfect opportunity to share more about what I believe and to dispel many of the myths about Mormonism,” she said.
Milner said from what she has seen so far, the campaign in London has been well-received.
“People are pleasantly surprised at the positive action the Church has taken with this campaign when no one would have denied us the right to get out there and protest and be outraged by the content of the musical,” she said. “Hopefully as a result of this campaign, Londoners will be more accurately aware of who we are and what we believe and will know where to come if they are interested in learning more.”
Madelyn Coleman, a BYU student on a study abroad program in London, said a Sunday school lesson in the ward she has been attending was set aside to discuss the launch of the campaign and the implications it will have for members in the U.K. Members were shown images of what iconic London sites like Picadilly Circus would look like covered in “I’m a Mormon” advertisements. The lesson included role playing, so members would be prepared to talk about the Church to those who had questions originating from the campaign.
“This initiative is going to need the members to put themselves out there and talk to people about the Church instead of waiting for people to ask questions,” Coleman said. “The Book of Mormon musical signs says that the Mormons are coming, but the ad campaign is going to let people know that the Mormons are already here and have been for a while.”