Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

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Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Churchianity] Focus on Issues

Posted by Lex Fear on June 24, 2007

5 Issues the church is too concerned about

CULTURE VULTURE: The Environment. Sure we should be smart and not drop litter, we should do what we can to reduce our individual waste… but this is one of the latest examples of the church jumping on a cultural bandwagon rather than seeking to make a difference in peoples lives. Plus, if more people did their research, they might discover that there’s not much we can do about global warming, it may even be part of God’s design for the planet. Have you noticed how nature is always moving and shifting through various seasons? It’s is only human beings who want to stay in place, prevent change and establish foundations. Not that, that is bad, but we should realise nature does not ask our permission before it changes.

BIBLE BASHING: Gay Rights. Of course, as a Christian if I was to have sex with man, I would be committing a sin. However this would also be the case if I had sex with a prostitute. And being a married Christian, if I was to have sex with another woman other than my wife, I would also be committing a sin. Why does the church focus on one sexual sin when protesting moral decline? How many Christians are divorced and remarried? Aah but there’s extenuating circumstances… violent spouses etc… we should be sensitive and understanding. Then likewise, we should be sensitive and understanding to homosexuals. It should also be noted that where God is concerned, it is only the church that should be subject to this kind of moral law. But the predominant question is this: Why shouldn’t homosexuals be free from prejudice?

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Posted in Bad Company, Churchianity, Civil Disobedience, Copywrong, Dark Side of the Light, Holding Actions, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, Of The World But Not In It, Open Source, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Protest, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Copland] Think

Posted by Lex Fear on March 11, 2007

It’s a pity that Chief Superintendent Kenny Scott was caught so soon after the governments new headline initiative.

If it had only been a year or two down the line, he might have gotten away with a warning.

Posted in Absolute Power, Copland, Pharisees, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Marketing] Hello, I’m a Pot… and I’m a Kettle

Posted by Lex Fear on March 6, 2007

“Apple has released several updates for QuickTime, the company’s media-player software, to address eight security vulnerabilities. Classified as “serious,” the flaws expose Macs and Windows computers to attack…” – NewsFactor

Posted in Ha-has, Pharisees, Video | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Resistance] No ID Card, No “Insert Here”

Posted by Lex Fear on March 5, 2007

Ideal Government point out a clever marketing strategy that will most likely be used by the government when it attempts to force on sell us the compulsory ID card in a few years.

“Just substitute the word “container” with any public service you’re currently entitled to…” – William Heath

Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Buyer Beware, Civil Disobedience, Databases, Minitruth, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Propaganda, Realpolitik, Technology, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Murderoch] Lost The Plot

Posted by Lex Fear on March 5, 2007

Is it just me or has Rupert Murderoch bought ‘Lost’ for the sole purpose to use as a marketing campaign.

The fact he has decided to float the whole Sky ship (well, not entirely, using ’24’ as the rudder) on one show is just moronic, especially since this show can be downloaded from numerous sources on the interweb.

Anyone who cancels their subscription to VM for Sky just for this show must have very limited cultural tastes.

However if you were considering it don’t, it’s not worth it. The only thing ‘lost’ in Season 3 so far seems to be the script. Check out the sci-fi channel instead for what is probably the best American TV show so far.

Image Referral: Digital Spy

Posted in Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Profiteering, Takeback, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »