Should You Advertise In Unfriendly Territory? The Mormons Do.


Last night I went to see the touring production of “The Book of Mormon,” a musical from the creators of South Park. It’s quite funny, but it takes some serious jabs at the LDS Church and the origins of its beliefs.

Flipping through the Playbill I got when I entered, I noticed several ads like the one shown here.

The LDS Church has placed these ads on purpose, as the LA Times notes. Clearly, most of the audience attending the show is there to laugh at, not join with, the Church. So why advertise at the show?

I’d argue that, much like the Church’s missionaries portrayed in the musical, these ads perfectly mirror their proselytizing methods: Show up in unexpected places to appeal to unsuspecting people. Makes sense to me.

For other marketers, it’s an interesting dilemma. Would you advise your clients to advertise in places you’re likely to face opposition or resistance? I don’t see a lot of ads for McDonald’s in fitness magazines. But it might be an interesting buy.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.