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As we've discussed before, advertising should be different, legible, authentic, clear, wanted and proactive as well.  How that looks and to what degree that is taken is dictated by the context into which you are speaking.

Context is King.

Different industries, different media and even different ethnicities have very important contextualized subcultures that need to be considered and consulted before an advertising campaign is embarked.  You can look at the way Intuitive Surgical targets the Health Care industry with the da Vinci robot or the way Hallmark targets the African American population with Mahogany greeting cards to see that in advertising context reigns supreme.  Today, we will look at the most contextualized of all: the Christian subculture.

Our Goal

I recently had the privilege of working on a magazine ad for the church where I am member.  The goal of this ad was to emphasize the expositional preaching that we do.  Because that's a word that most people can't define let alone find enticing, we wanted to kind of spell it out in an attractive way.  We like to keep things simple, and we wanted our ad to reflect that.  How did we proceed?  We started by looking at the context.  This ad will appear in a local magazine whose goal is connecting people with area churches.  That provides incredible context.

Our Context

Our ad will be ...

  • In print (not digital) form
  • Seen by people in the southwest Georgia area
  • Given a church focused platform
  • Compared against other ads in this magazine
  • Appealing to those with whom our message resonates

Our Ad

Once we have our goal and our context our ad becomes much easier to design.  Because the other ads in this magazine are photographic, our ad will be different by being graphical.  Because our ad is in tangible, print form, we will use smaller fonts that are still legible.  Because our ad will reach those with whom our message resonates, we will be boldly authentic.  Because our ad is in a church magazine, we don't have to clarify the idea that we are a church (it will be assumed).  Because the magazine is geared toward people who want a church, we don't have to sell the idea that they need a church.  By not claiming to be trendy, fun or program-oriented, we hope to be ironically proactive in raising the bar.

In other words, our ad will look something like this ...

Flint River Bible Fellowship