If The Bible Carried Ads…

Here I am having an inspirational talk with a guy from the left and he wants to know how far is the South Afrikan media with the discussion on who should dictate editorial policy between the advertisers and the readers. We end up on politics really; I bemoan the fact that Media Development and Diversity Agency is not well-funded and that government should put more money into the agency to unearth more grassroots media with a pulse.

I go as far as mentioning that those who run the media actually set the agenda on what national discourse should be. Then we come to the point I have been wondering relating to the influence of ads on content. Okay, Google Ads can not do that because they are content relevant. You publish stories about Mandela and the Long Walk To Freedom book retailers’ ads pop up. You write about China and The Dalai Lama’s ads dominate your page. But the real talk is about the ads that try to influence content – by throwing money at the publication.

Then our discussion came to the point where we wondered why is the Bible, thick, printed on the best paper on the market retail so cheap? If those who are propagating the spread of Christianity can put so much money into its production and distribution why can’t those who want to propagate their own leftist rhetoric do the same with newspapers. For all I know newspapers are published on cheap newsprint, are less than forty pages thick and are distributed at restaurants and beer halls. Where’s the hiccup?

Then my friend wanted to know my take on how ads influence content. I told him that I reckon if the Bible welcomed ads, you would have a lot of inaccurate information and omissions in the Holy book. Imagine this scenario;

Obviously SARS would have loved putting ads next to Jesus’ sermons about ‘giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar’. Picture reading about all the taxes that Jesus preached about and at the bottom of the page you get a strip ad from SARS, reminding you of your obligations.

Also imagine reading about the miracle of walking on water at the Sea of Galilee and then getting an ad from Vodacom or NOKIA. After St Peter failed to cross to Jesus due to his lack of faith you can have NOKIA claiming, ‘connecting people’ or Vodacom advertising its power of connecting people.

On another note you could be reading the story of Christ’s crucifixion and at the bottom you have an ad from AVBOB, selling their funeral covers. I’m quite certain Kaizer Chiefs would have bought a half page to advertise Ikusasa LaMakhosi.

Now something that would tickle the fancy of our plastic millionaires. Imagine reading the parable of the Lazarus and the Rich Man and on the reversal of roles. And then there is an ad from ABSA selling an investment scheme. ‘Don’t end up like the Rich Man, Invest with ABSA, today, tomorrow, together’.

Well, I can dissect the inspired book to shreds because I know it so passionately but I reckon you can also think of ads to go with the story. On the issue of influence I swear to you after Cain killed Abel you would have an AK47 influencing the content by claiming that Cain used a Kalashnikov to pop Abel and not a stone. Then they would buy the strip and sell the AK47.

Share your thoughts with me, choose a scripture in the Bible and tell me what ad do you think it would go with it. Go to Facebook and post me your thoughts, you might become a copywriter someday.

1 comment:

  1. Picture a Stainless Steel ad next to the story about Peter chopping Judas' ear off: Sharper than sound - let him who has an ear hear.


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