Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Advertising and Repetition

The secret of effective advertising is repetition. All kinds of effective teaching include repetition.

Almost fifty years ago we were driving across the United States on, I think, US 40. The Interstate Highway system had not yet been invented. We left the East Coast headed west. As we approached the Appalachan mountains I remember seeing a barn. The whole side of the barn was painted. It was a very big billboard. Most of the barn was black. The lettering said this:

Chew Mail Pouch
Treat yourself to the best.

My reaction was that, a reaction. How awful! How could anyone think of chewing tobacco like that and advertise it. Then I saw another black barn with the same words. I was amazed and appalled. Then another and another. A hundred barns later (I didn’t count them) I was ready to buy a plug. It did not seem awful any more. I didn’t but I was brainwashed with repetition.

Recently, I have been inundated with another expression. It is enough to make me want to throw a monkey wrench through the picture tube. “Ask your doctor to see if this is right for you.” I have no objection to people asking their doctors. Obviously, every medicine is not right for everyone and doctors should know. It is this little expression “right for you”, “you are different; you are unique; you are not part of the crowd; you are special.” By believing this repetitious pitch we unknowingly become part of the crowd, the un-unique. It must work. If it doesn’t then Pharmaceutical companies are wasting big money.

I have a few phrases that I would like repeated across the land. It is right for every one without asking their doctors.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6, 8

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30

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