|United Methodist billboard ‘gift’ kicks off holiday season|
Nov. 14, 2005
|Courtesy of Igniting Ministry
"The Gift" television ads will be shown on the 30-by-40-foot screen at Times Square during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church is kicking off its
holiday advertising campaign with a giant billboard screen above New
York City’s Times Square.
“The Gift,” a message about sharing one’s gifts with others, is expected
to reach an estimated 2 million people flowing daily through Times
Square. The 30-second spots will be shown on the 30-by-40-foot screen
eight times a day for a two-week period, including during the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day parade.
“The holiday season is a time when many people are feeling alone or are
perhaps seeking some deeper meaning and purpose in their lives,” said
the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist
Communications. “One of the gifts that the United Methodist Church has
to offer is the sureness of hope that we are neither abandoned by God or
by the faith community. Our doors are open for anyone who is seeking a
deeper understanding of their place in the world to come and participate
in that search in relationship with others.”
In addition to advertising on one of the world’s most famous outdoor
video screens this holiday season, the denomination will air two
television commercials on 18 cable networks Dec. 5 through Christmas
Eve. The second spot, titled, “I Believe,” is about how the church
This year’s $1.8 million Christmas season campaign will be the longest,
most in-depth ever, according to Stephen Drachler, director of public
information at United Methodist Communications.
The Rev. Larry Hollon
The ads are part of the United Methodist Church’s media campaign, “Open
hearts. Open doors. Open minds. The People of The United Methodist
Church” Now in its fifth year, the campaign uses television, radio,
movie theaters, outdoor advertising, and direct mail to share messages
of love and hope with people seeking a spiritual home. The goal is to
invite people, particularly those between 25 and 54 years old, to enter
into connection with the Christian community as they seek meaning and
purpose in their lives.
United Methodist Communications, based in Nashville, launched the effort
in 2001 to raise awareness of the denomination through a series of
national cable television commercials. The campaign also includes radio
spots and non-broadcast ads, matching grants, training resources and a
Web presence. The 2004 General Conference, the church’s top legislative
body, approved another $25 million for the program and renewed it for
four more years.
The United Methodist Church has nearly 11 million members in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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