I returned from holiday this week and as I rose to the top of the escalator at Piccadilly Circus Tube station I was greeted by pictures of warm, approachable smiles from people I’d like to know. I then noticed that these ordinary people, looking just like you or me were proudly emblazoned with the words “I’m a Mormon”.
I’m inspired by this foresight, modernity and lateral thinking by The Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) and I think anyone in the communications business should be fascinated by this live case study.
Unless you’ve been in hiding during the past month you will realise that these posters are a Mormon driven campaign designed to coincide with the already smash hit show “The Book of Mormon” now showing in the West End. In a press release announcing The LDS Church “I’m a Mormon” campaign, church leader Elder Clifford Herbertson explained the rationale, stating: “There is a great amount of interest in Mormons right now in the U.K. and Ireland… People are asking the question, ‘Who are the Mormons?’ and when people are asking questions, we want to be here to provide them with the answers of how and why we follow Jesus Christ.” If you want to be a great thought leader take a lesson from The Mormons.
As part of the clever campaign 250 double-decker buses will circulate around London and the rest of the UK will feature the advertisements, along with sites at the Charing Cross mainline station and 10 tube stations.
The Church has even created a specific website to support the print ads – http://mormon.org.uk/ and – in what is a genius move – is also running ads in the show’s theatre programme, which say, “You’ve seen the play, now read the book,” and “The book is always better”.
In an environment where so many brands shy away from being contentious, the Mormons have delivered a golden lesson in crisis management and how to make the most of any opportunity. They have reacted wholly differently to how I, and I’m sure many others, would have expected them to respond. There was no protest, uproar or damnation from the LDS – instead they have taken a positive and fun stance. Quite simply, the Mormons have flipped it into a PR gift!
If you want to be a thought leader I’d suggest taking a leaf out of (and pardon the pun) The Book of Mormon. Positive, poignant, provocative and punchy; It’s got people talking and we’re engaging with it, and therefore the Mormon Church, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
As for becoming a Mormon, do you know what, I might just think about it; they seem a smart and inspired bunch to me if this campaign is anything to go by.
I’m a believer!