church renewing the church

Rethink Rock vs. Ukrainian Army Ad

I was watching the Al Jazeera Listening Post – Video this week and saw the following as their web video of the week:

I laughed to myself and thought, “What kind of videos are people making these days?”

Then I remembered a clip that I first saw at annual conference:

Is one more effective than the other? Only one of the two videos above has a clear desired outcome and a call to action for the viewer.

What makes an effective video? How can the church produce the best media possible?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

4 replies on “Rethink Rock vs. Ukrainian Army Ad”

I actually think the Ukranian Army ad is rather brilliant. As background information- Ukraine is in the midst of transitioning their army into a full-time professional army, which means conscription numbers have been steadily dropping, and will end this year. Also, after age 25 one cannot be conscripted. As such, the people to whom this ad is aimed will be the first group of citizens who will not serve a compulsory military term.

I think what makes this ad brilliant is the tongue-in-cheek nature of it. It plays off of every typical (or at least what is presented to be) guy desire (the girls, the guns, power, etc.) in a way that one obviously couldn’t think that’s all there is to being in the military, (precisely because of the tongue-in-cheek nature of it) but at the same time is so memorable that it plants a mental seed. In the case of the military as a career, especially for potential recruits who are not going to be serving a compulsory term, having some sort of memorable exposure is invaluable. No commercial is going to compel someone to choose military service as a career, but it is an ad that sticks in your mind, and that kind of exposure is a goldmine.

The Rethink Rock video, on the other hand, fails miserably, IMO. Whereas the Army ad is silly and fun in a tongue-in-cheek way, the Rethink Rock video is silly in a ‘we’re trying to be cool but we ended up trying to be 1999 cool’ way. I know when I first saw it at first I kind of had my mouth open in disbelief, and it eventually culminated in laughter at how ridiculous the video was. Granted, I laughed at the Ukranian Army ad as well, but because it was trying to be funny and silly and succeeded brilliantly; my laughter at the ReThink Rock video was more because it was trying to be cool but was just really lame. Perhaps that’s a harsh criticism, but it’s true. I mean, the video itself is fairly well done- it’s probably the song that kills it. Of course, I’ve not been a fan of any of the the rethink church advertisements.

deviantmonk – Very well written. I appreciate the additional context of the Ukranian Army and the transition in their forces. That is helpful. I agree with you on the Rethink Rock video. For the first few moments of the video, I thought that it might be okay. Sadly, no. Ahh, well… Thanks for your response!

I’m sure glad deviantmonk came to the same conclusion and posted it. I was afraid I would be the only one shaking his or her head at the Rethink Rock video. One of the aspects that troubles me (although I still think it can be a positive campaign) about the “Rethink Church” campaign is it seems to imply that corporate worship of God is no longer valuable. While I agree that effective evangelism will most likely need to involve unchurched persons in Christian service before they’re even Christians (a concept eloquently stated by Adam Hamilton and others), I’m afraid the UMC is implying there is some value in cutting off the lifeblood of the church, corporate worship, with “Rethink Church”.

Jim W – I disagree with your assertion that the Rethink Church campaign portrays corporate worship as worthless. It clearly emphasizes service outside the walls of the church, however it seems as if there is an assumption that corporate worship is part of the picture.

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