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United Methodist ads to appear on Times Square

A UMNS Report
By David Briggs*

July 2, 2009 | NASHVILLE, TN.

The United Methodist Church is taking its Rethink Church advertising and welcoming campaign to one of the world’s most trafficked locales – New York City’s iconic Times Square.

On July 1, the church began airing spots on the CBS “Super Screen,” a full motion, 26-by-20-foot screen on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Two 15-second spots per hour will air 18 hours per day through Sept. 30.

“Times Square is an ideal fit for our Rethink Church campaign,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “You’ll find people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities in Times Square, and we want to tell each of them, ‘There’s a place for you in The United Methodist Church.’”

Rethink Church, the next evolution of The United Methodist Church’s “Open hearts” welcoming and advertising campaign, highlights the many opportunities available within United Methodist churches to engage with the world.

July’s spots will focus on literacy and environmental awareness. The first spot asks, “What if church was a literacy program for homeless children? Would you come?” The second asks, “What if church considered ecology part of theology?”

Each 15-second spot includes accompanying visuals and an invitation to “Rethink Church at 10thousanddoors.org,” a Web site where visitors may interact, learn more about The United Methodist Church, and search for opportunities to be involved.

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The spots will rotate monthly, with two new ads appearing in both August and September.

Audiences will see and hear more than $20 million in Rethink Church advertising over the next four years on television, radio, print, and in new media, including banner and keyword advertising on major secular Web sites. The messages target 18- to 34-year-olds who are seeking spiritual fulfillment, including those with skeptical views of church.

News media contact: David Briggs, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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