I will admit to knowing absolutely nothing about professional marketing, so I am completely open to having a Madison Avenue insider inform and enlighten me on this subject in the event that I am missing something here.  But…

Have you seen the Dr. Pepper TEN commercial?  It is a 30-second TV advertisement built around a cheesy action movie scenario, complete with a running gun battle through the jungle, a surprise attack by a snake, rolling boulders, a leap from a cliff, and a pursuit by three assailants on motorcycles.  The spot promotes “what guys want” in a soda, i.e., Dr. Pepper’s 23 flavors with “only 10 manly calories.”  The commercial ends with the tagline, “Dr. Pepper TEN!  It’s not for women!”

I understand that the spot is tongue-in-cheek, but still!  “It’s not for women?”  Seriously?  Why would a company that is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars (perhaps millions) on advertising intentionally run the risk of alienating half of their potential market?  It’s like saying, “Dr. Pepper TEN.  It’s not for brown-haired people!”  Some women will undoubtedly buy the product, drink it, and will probably like it.  But, if I were a woman, my attitude would be, “Okay, fine!  I’ll spend my money on something else.  Let’s see if your marketing genius keeps his job.”  I say “his” job because I can’t imagine that a woman dreamed up this ad campaign.

So, what has this got to do with anything other than soft drinks?

The commercial got me thinking about how we in our churches present ourselves to people in our communities; not as overtly as in the TV spot, but in much more subtle and, perhaps, unintentional ways.  

When someone visits your congregation, is it possible that from attending the worship service, interacting with members (or not), and receiving information about the church’s ministries, that he or she could write a tagline?  “The Main Street Church!  It’s not for singles!” “It’s not for the divorced!”  “It’s not for anyone over (or under) 35!” “It’s not for the ethnically diverse!”  “It’s not for the economically disadvantaged!” “It’s not for the chronically ill!” 

Something to think about!