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Marketing GOD

Let’s face it.  Organized religions are the best marketers in the world.  They have complete control over the product they market, can make any claims they want and never have to prove results (since results can’t be proven until death).  Dead people don’t usually complain so it’s a win/win for everyone.

In all seriousness, religions and religious groups are great marketers.  This past weekend I attended a music festival.  Some hardcore bands that I really like were playing such as August Burns Red & The Devil Wears Prada.  Although many of the people attending just want to see the bands they like, I happen to know that the concert organizers have the goal of getting the message out about their religion.  When you break down the pieces of the puzzle here, it’s genius marketing.

How do we reach a coveted young demographic and get our message out about Christianity?

  • Book bands that our target demographic likes.
  • Make sure that all advertising materials are trendy and young looking
  • Make sure to never OFFICIALLY mention that the event has a religious undertone – make subtle references.
  • Between the advertising and the bands people will show up
  • Once we have them at the event we can spread our message since they aren’t going anywhere
  • Bless the stage before acts perform
  • Tell inspirational/religious stories between bands playing
  • Best of all – Let everyone PAY to see the bands and we get to market to everyone for free

It’s really quite genius.  You get people to pay to see one thing and then you mix in your message and preach your beliefs to an otherwise uninterested audience.

Think about how you can use this to make more money.  What can you offer to people that they will find value in that will afford you a cross-promotional opportunity to sell something else?  Better yet can you charge people for something and use the sale as an opportunity to advertise something else?


2 of my favorite quotes I overheard from the show:

In the merch tent: “Watch your merchandise because theft happens. Although this is a christian event, non christians will also be coming”

From the stage: “If you need someone to pray with find anyone in a yellow shirt.  They will either pray with you or direct you towards someone you can pray with” (Guess what color shirt I was wearing that day…)

P.S. I’m not knocking anyone’s religion. Everyone is free to believe whatever they want to.

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Published inDoing Business


  1. I have a post coming up about this college ministry that had a brilliant marketing idea. I just wrote about it this morning and you totally hit some of the same points I talked about! Haha

  2. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @volk – finally i beat you to a post

  3. “Watch your merchandise because theft happens. Although this is a christian event, non christians will also be coming”


  4. Jesus loves you, and he needs your money.

  5. when the goal is clearly defined, creativity flows…

  6. Great post. The youth-marketing angle of religion is such a huge part of what keeps it alive but something that is usually taboo to discuss.

    My band has done a ton of touring and every once in a while we’d end up playing an event similar to the one you described… it was always a really uneasy feeling for us when we realized what we were a part of, the promoters of these concerts typically do not make their intentions explicitly clear to the bands involved.

    Definitely a skeazy way to teach someone about a faith, but undeniably an effective marketing tactic.

  7. Glenn Glenn

    Feeding 5000! Would Jesus have been good at internet marketing?

  8. In the merch tent: “Watch your merchandise because theft happens. Although this is a christian event, non christians will also be coming.”

    That REALLY makes me angry!

    Let’s take a look at one little quote from the very man that these organizers purport to follow:

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

  9. Cults are great at marketing.. Church of Scientology scammed their way into tax exempt status. It’s basically operate a MLM pyramid scheme (maybe not exactly) and make huge huge huge $$$$ tax free.

    The thing about Christians and stealing is pretty hilarious, but I agree VERY hypocritical.

    I am a Christian, but Christian rock events like that really creep me out.

    So, were you wearing a yellow shirt?

  10. I used to play in a band, and I can some what relate to what you have mentioned. You can really get some good ideas from looking into non-affiliate marketing sometimes …

    we use to enter the “battle of the bands” type shows and the organizers would have each bands sell a quota of tickets; and usually each band sold a good chunk of them

  11. @imKazu – Your right, Battle of the bands is a huge marketing ploy as well.

  12. Wow that’s insane and absolute genius! Thanks for sharing… given me quite a few ideas actually…

  13. U hit the head on the nail on the head about making outrageous claims. I knew the power celebrities had so I devoted teams of people to market to them.

    Television has tremendous power as do people who are on TV. Always offer people something affordable like a $20 book they can have a “win” with as bait. THis gets them in the door. hahahahaha (insert sinister laugh)

  14. Brad Brad

    ABR owns!!

  15. interesting arguments or debates get my attention when it comes to relgiion.

  16. Hahaha, awesome article that really is brilliant marketing!

    …and isn’t it God who created all those non christians who will be looting the merch tent???

  17. Cool analogy I agree religious leaders are the best marketers in the World they can get their followers to do basically whatever they want too. Look at the Muslim leader that is gonna be the leader of the Mosque being built by ground zero. This is ruffling a lot of feathers and it is a touchy subject to say the least. They are all well spoken, and have a way of having there believers. (in our case customers) do what they want so to speak.

    Anyhow good blog post!

  18. Nice content here, sounds very legit and useful haha.

  19. Ryan B Ryan B

    It is sad, I think even the Christian youth in the crowd feel as awkward as the non-christian. Religion is not God’s heart. His heart is love. It’s too bad that the simple message of God’s love often gets destroyed by people trying to share it.

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