Thursday, May 1, 2008

WBC on your TV

We recently shot a television commercial that will soon air on Comcast. Yes, that's right, we'll be on TV (even if only for thirty seconds).

Here's how it all happened: As you may be aware, last year our church was blessed with a significant budget surplus. As a result, we were faced with a rare and wonderful problem: What should we do with all that extra money? The church made the wise decision to give the surplus monies to our administrative and church life councils to find the proper way to use them. Some of this money has already been spent on addressing physical needs on our church campus apart from the sanctuary renovation. The Church Life Council voted a few months ago to set aside some of this money for television advertising. Our thought was that we would try this out...if it helps us reach some people, it will be worth it.

Randy Mitchell researched TV advertising and found that we could afford to shoot and air an ad on Comcast cable TV. I met with the Comcast folks a few weeks ago and found out more about the process. I wrote up a script (my Radio-TV degree from UH finally came in handy), they tweaked it a bit, and we set up a shoot time. Two weeks ago, Ricardo Amell from Comcast came out to shoot the ad. It took a couple of hours (and required an unexpected cameo from our receptionist, Harriet Ward), but I think the end result is good.

In designing this ad, I wanted to avoid the trap that most church TV ads fall into: The "Look at all our great programs...our church is better than yours!" trap. I wanted the ad to specifically appeal to non-church people, not to members of other congregations. I wanted it to speak of Jesus, more than about Westbury. In other words, I wanted this to be something God could use to draw people to Himself, whether they ever come to WBC or not. So, tell me what you think:

Our Ad

I'd love to hear your comments. Also, ideas for other types of ads we could do would be welcome. Please forward this link to your friends. Use it to invite people to WBC.

As for the broadcast schedule, here is how it will go; The ad will only air on Comcast, so if you use an antenna or a sattelite dish (or another cable company), you won't see this on your TV. It is scheduled to air on Fridays and Saturdays between 6 AM and midnight during May, June and July on the following channels: ABC family, ESPN2, Liftetime, The Learning Channel, and TBS. Hopefully, that gives us a wide enough range to reach a variety of people.

Pray that God will use this ad to reach many "pennies" with His amazing love.


Laine said...

What a great ad! It's really accessible and balanced - not too flashy, not too homemade. The penny analogy is perfect.

I heard a radio spot the other day with a guy saying to his wife, "Did you see this story in the paper, Honey? This church is surrounded by protesters. If that many people are riled up about the God's work, then this is the church for us!" I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist. I hope I misunderstood, because that was truly alarming. I would have recorded it but I like to keep both hands on the steering wheel when I drive.

Anyway, good job. My only teeny tiny criticism is that you and your family should stand much closer together. In real life it looks uncomfortable and squishy, but to a camera it looks loving and affectionate.

Congratulations from a seasoned amateur!

Jeff Berger said...

Thanks Laine! I appreciate the compliments and the criticism. Tell Mike hi for me, and I'd love to hear his thoughts, too.

Anonymous said...

The ad is great. And, you're right that the focus should be God's love in Jesus rather than a listing of WBC programs. My only suggestion would be that in the next video, congregation shots show more diversity of population. This is so exciting!

thePiks said...

Great ad! Thank you for keeping the focus on Jesus and not just our church. Brian and I loved it.