Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Here we're celebrating Christmas with another batch of atheist adverts, created by you, the readers.

(click image if you need to enlarge)

What do you think - do you like any of these?

Keep the ideas coming: send to simon dot veksner at bbh dot co dot uk (N.B. this is not a BBH project, I just don't have another e-mail address). Next year we are going to start actually running some ads, even if I have to pay for them myself. Which I probably will.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Latest Batch Of Ads

Submissions are still very much welcome; this is my pick of the latest batch:

I was inspired by the British Humanist Association's plan to create an atheist bus campaign.

I had a couple of meetings with them, along with the media agency, Naked, and shared some ideas, but it now looks like we won't be working together. They're a cool bunch of people, but they have decided to commit all the funds raised by their campaign to the original bus-side concept.

I still want to promote atheism in other ways; it looks like I am just going to have to do it myself, guerrilla stylee.

To that end, Scowling A.D. and I have a meeting with a very talented director tomorrow morning, to discuss shooting this script as a test:

We open in a typical large bookshop, e.g. Waterstone’s. Maybe we’re upstairs.

There are quite a few customers milling around, and one member of staff.

When the member of staff goes off somewhere, the ‘customers’ all swing into action. Each of them pulls out two or three copies of the bible (same edition), and place them on the Fiction table (there’s a sign clearly marked Fiction), then they scurry away.

We film the reactions of normal customers and members of staff, when they see this new display.

Title: DiscoverAtheism.Info

I think this could make for an amusing and thought-provoking piece of film, something akin to the style of Whopper Freakout. Incidentally, this was also written by a U.S.-based team.

I'll keep you informed of how it goes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Presentation

I met Ariane yesterday, organiser of the atheist bus campaign, to talk about what they might do next.

And I was lucky enough to be able to show her what I think are some very interesting ideas... produced by you lot.

I haven't attached names, since many prefer to remain anonymous.

But we had over 100 submissions in all, from Melbourne to China to New York. Thanks everyone.

Everything was looked at, discussed, and helped hone our thinking, so if you don't see your ad up here, that doesn't mean you didn't make a contribution. You did.

Let me know what you think of them...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello And Welcome

The purpose of this blog is to share ideas about how best to advertise reason and evolution.

Our first job is hopefully to do some bus-sides to run in London in January.

The remarkable Ariane Sherine is organising the atheist bus campaign, which has already generated loads of PR (just try Googling 'atheist bus campaign'.

And she has already raised upwards of £50K to fund the execution you see above.

I've offered to help her out with some other ideas.

And I'm asking Scamp readers who are free of the God delusion to help out too.

Are you a Planner? Maybe you could contribute a cool strategy.

Creative? Write us an ad. Do it up in photoshop if you like, but a scamp is fine, or even just a headline. Obviously this isn't a BBH project and there's not going to be any money for anyone at any stage, but you'll get full credit.

I've had a go at writing a brief, so here it is below, but if you want to suggest a better one, then feel free.

First client meeting is Weds Nov 12th, 2pm.

Atheism Brief

Even in the 21st century, religion still has a big hold on people. Religious fanatics around the world kill thousands every year. Millions of people live in countries with oppressive faith-based regimes. Bishops get an automatic seat in the UK legislature. And state-funded ‘faith schools’ are allowed to discriminate in favour of religious pupils. Meanwhile, churches and evangelist groups (‘The Alpha Course’) are advertising for recruits. Where is the voice promoting rational, science-based atheism?

The British Humanist Association has raised over £50K to fund a campaign promoting atheism. The subject of our ads should probably be religious belief in general, rather than any religion in particular. But if you do mention a particular religion, it would seem to make most sense to reference Christianity, since this is by far the most widespread religion in the UK.

Get PR. The campaign has already had great coverage in the media (try Googling ‘Atheist bus campaign’), and will hopefully get even more when we launch. An ad with real insight and bite will be more likely to get PR.

We’ll never reach the religious fanatics, and there’s no point talking to existing atheists. We should aim at the (very large) group in the middle – reasonable, intelligent people who were probably brought up with a bit of religion, and haven’t really questioned it since. We need to move their dial.

There is no God.

Fossils. Empirical science. The presence of ‘evil’ in the world contradicts the Christian notion of God as omnipotent and beneficient… more at, especially the ‘Debate Points’ section.

Plain and factual might work. But then again, nothing undermines more effectively than humour. It’s open.

1) Idea must be cheap to do
2) In terms of media, it would be good to do bus-sides because bus-sides have already been announced. But we could propose an alternative use of their money if we had a great idea for a different medium.
3) The ASA code says “Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.”