A Stroke of Genius

S. Truett Cathy is a marketing genius.  He used the tools available to market his product.    It was true inspiration.  He used his opinion about same sex marriage to move Chick-fil-A into a prominent position in the American view.  Mr. Cathy believes in the literal interpretation of the bible which according to believers outlines a moral life and has some special things to say about marriage being a union between a man and a woman.  He claims that his god will punish or is already punishing the world for violating this and other moral tenets.  His hiring practice does not discriminate against any race or sexual persuasion but he says he does not condone same sex marriage: Admirable but confusing.  It’s OK to be homosexual, but not for them to marry.  

Mr. Cathy is a smart business man. He realizes that there are a lot of hungry believers in them thar hills… and he needed reach them.  Well, he did in a big way.  He hit the jackpot!  He received free prime-time national advertising and he sold out of food at several of his restaurants; all because he spoke out against same sex marriage. 

When was the last time you heard of a fast-food restaurant sell out of food, completely?  It happened at several of his stores across this country.  His comment against same sex marriage not only rallied the faithful, but the ambivalent and the infidels as well.  People all over the country lined up for hours to support his fundamentalist stance, or to show defiance, some because they were just curious.  Local and national news organizations had reporters in the crowd obtaining reactions and comments on this brilliant maneuver.  “I think God would eat here…” said one interviewee.

Fundamental Christians now view Chick-fil-A as the righteous place to eat.  They now believe a meal at Chick-fil-A not only satisfies your hunger but sends a message to the country that you support Mr. Cathy’s message and position.  It is now a badge of faith to be worn proudly and openly against same sex unions.  This powerful media supported message to this county’s faithful gives fundamental beliefs a huge boost.  Sheeple all over the country flocked to show support.

Personally, I am for same sex marriage.  I am for the rights of people to exercise free choice.  I think everyone deserves whatever it is that makes them happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  I think marriage is an archaic institution, but if it makes you happy, do it.  You can worship a rock for all I care, just don’t throw it at me.  You can marry a goat, just to invite me to the ceremony; unless it’s catered.  I don’t care if you are asexual, bisexual, heterosexual or homosexual: I don’t care.  I have friends in each camp and I love them all equally. I don’t care what god you pray to, if you pray, or if you abstain.  It’s none of my business and I don’t want to know.  Just allow me the same freedom, please.

We all know the point of marketing is to coerce the public to purchase your product.  We all know about advertising, how they use every trick possible to entice us to buy the product de jure’ to enhance our lives.  Mr. Cathy’s ploy uses religion as a carrot and a stick.  It’s carrot to entice the faithful to line up for hours to show support.  It’s a stick because he claims his god will punish those who engage in this unholy practice.  He voiced his opinion about same sex marriage and killed the last sacred cow.  He used his religious beliefs to motivate the public to support his fast food chain.  The fantastic part of this campaign is that he hit us all: everyone; regardless of your position, you are affected.  Now we know the best way to mobilize the masses is to use sex and religion.  Sex sells… and religion motivates.

One parable in the Bible tells us that Christ raided the money changers because they violated the sanctity of the temple, how much more violated is the church now that they have entered into advertising.  Religions are already politically active telling the membership how to vote and the proper biblical position on political issues.  Religions actively support candidates that espouse their fundamentalist stance. These pandering candidates find it expedient to advertise their religious preference to garner support.  They proudly proclaim their fundamental belief in god to appear more marketable and palatable to these specific constituents.  Some religions even tell their members who to murder in gods’ name!  Only a precious few abstain, believing that faith is a very personal and private relationship between god and us.

We all know sex sells.  Advertisers have been pushing the limits of “public pseudo-propriety” for many years.  They tell us how much more sexually attractive we will be by using their product.  No one in memory has used religion to sell a product.  That’s not entirely true.  There are those that go door to door selling god, but they don’t charge you initially: That comes later.  Mr. Cathy has moved us one step closer to the ultimate goal in advertising… there is nothing sacred and anything goes.  Now that this box is open we will see a barrage of new ads extolling the virtues of religion based products and services.

I can see the advertisers in conference rooms all over America designing new campaigns to add the biblical and religious context to their products.  The implications are far reaching.  I can see it being applied to Government and Law as well.  Here are a few ideas… feel free to use them.

“Our boats part the water just like Moses”

“Walk on Water Waders – Just like Jesus wore.”  WWJW – What Would Jesus Wear?

“Holy Mackerel – All You Can Eat Buffet…”

“Welfare – Manna from Your Government”

“Barack Husain Obama – Twenty-First Century Messiah”

“Mitt Romney – God’s Mormon Choice for The Whitehouse”

“Water to Wine Coolers – WWJD – What would Jesus Drink”

“The All New Meal Stretcher – Two Loaves and a Fish can feed the neighborhood”

“Socialism – Support Thy Neighbor”

“Taxation – The New Tithing”

“It’s not Illegal Assembly – its Fellowship and Worship”

“The all New Christler – A Heavenly Ride with the Power of God!”

“The Church of Financial Redemption – You Pay, We Pray”

“Save Your Lawn – Use the All New Baptism Sprinkler”

“Over a 100 billion Souls served so far…”

“Torah, Torah, Torah – The Old Testament Movie”

“Armageddon – The Movie… ‘It quite a Revelation’…”

“Ayatollah Mustapha’s Clothiers – Serving the Taliban for Millennia”

“Burqa’s are Us – Koran Prescribed, Taliban Approved”

“Buddha’s Hot Dogs – Let us make you one with everything”

“Cloud Confessions – Why attend church for absolution: use your Smart Phone”

“Zen Advertising Agency – Let the Universe provide or hire us”

“Rastafarian Promotions – Getting you closer to Ja mon”

“Rasta-man Bombers – A pound in every spliff”

“Episcopal Church – Like Catholicism without the Guilt”

“Guilt – Invented by Jews, Perfected by Catholics”

I commend his brilliant use of the first amendment and his fundamental beliefs to advertise his business.  He hit everyone with his comment:  Kudos to Mr. Cathy for your stroke of genius. 

This proves there are no boundaries or limits in marketing.  This recent campaign lowers the bar to ground level: We’ll have to dig a trench to get under it now. 

Damn… I wish I’d thought of it.