Churchads.net is asking UK churches to support its 2011 Christmas poster which re-casts the nativity scene with trendy twenty somethings, designer fashions and luxury gifts.
In the poster the shepherds are represented by a cycle courier and plasterer. The Wise men are shown as three successful entrepreneurs and their gifts are iconic ‘treasures’ of modern culture: a Swarovski crystal perfume bottle, a Faberge egg and a replica Damian Hirst skull. All are ‘sharply dressed’. But the traditional nativity arrangement is unchanged, with Jesus as its clear focus. And the message is ‘However you dress it up…. Christmas Starts with Christ’.
The image, which features clothing from shops including Topman, Zara and Donna Karan, was photographed by Max Oppenheim, a prominent London based photographer who has shot campaigns for clients such as Paul Smith, Max Mara and Virgin. The poster already has the support of key church leaders, including the Archbishop of York, and partners such as Premier Christian Media and The Jerusalem Trust.
Mike Elms, from ChurchAds.net, said:
“This year we have a very simple but dramatic idea by showing the meeting of Christianity and high street consumerism, with Christ in the middle. With recent events in the UK and with millions of people heading for shopping centres in the final few days before Christmas, there will be no better time to remind people that, behind all the consumerism-Christmas Starts with Christ.”
National Christmas Advertising fund
To maximise the impact of the message, ChurchAds.net is asking individuals and churches to make a donation to a National Christmas Advertising fund. The aim is to raise enough money to cover the placing of posters at bus stops, buy airtime for specially commissioned radio ads, and for the first time ever buy colour ads in national and regional newspapers.
Mike Elms said:
“Last year we took the Christmas Starts with Christ message to 30 million people. We want to build on that and for the first time ever we are hoping to place ads in regional and national newspapers. Imagine the effect of the image as a colour advertisement in, say, the Daily Mail and Sunday Mirror, exposing an additional 8 million people to the message. It would be like sending 40 million Christian ‘Christmas cards’ to the nation.”
Any individual or church can donate to the National Christmas Ad Fund by visiting www.christmasstarts.com.