Worldview Weekend -- Sales Pitches, Quizzes and Marketing, Oh My
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Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 11:55:09 AM EST
I admit it -- I took the "Are you a Dominionist" quiz offered at the Worldview Weekend website.  I couldn't resist.  My score was -2, somewhere in the range I expected, but that's not the reason I am writing.
The real reason is this -- in order to take the original quiz, registration is required.  I could have used a false email, but I must admit to being curious as to what I might receive should I provide my real email.  Today I found out - and may I state for the record that the Worldview Weekend mailing list clearly has no correlation to the quiz I took, as the email I received today begins:

Are you witnessing to a friend or family member this Christmas? Are you interested in laying the foundation for a child to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? Take our free test below. The correct answers are at the bottom of the test.

Right -- so the first portion of the email asks me to spend $50 (perhaps more) on DVDs such as "Soundly Saved" and "How to Bring Children To Christ."  

Next, another quiz -- WW seems fond of quizzes.  Here's my favorite question:

17. Another name for the moral law is:

A. The Ten Commandments
B. The Ten suggestions
C. The Ten options

I got this one right.

I share this (the contents in the solicitation, not my right answer) in the spirit of understanding the tools used by the Right to market to their this case, tools weilded rather poorly (and I can say this as a marketing and Public Relations professional, not just as an unfounded slam).

It occurs to me, however, that the marketing arms of groups  like Focus on the Family are much more savvy -- and therefore much more dangerous.  It also occurs to me that rational thinking,  and secularism (at least in the sense of separation), suffer from a lack of positive marketing.  And by this, I don't mean a well-funded campaign with little squishy ball giveaways and ads on network television, but a somewhat coherent effort that goes beyond merely attempting to demonstrate where the Right is wrong.....any good marketing effort concentrates on the positives, not the negatives.  

Can rationality and secularism be marketed in a positive fashion?  If they can, how can it be done?

"It occurs to me, however, that the marketing arms of groups  like Focus on the Family are much more savvy -- and therefore much more dangerous."

You're exactly right, I'd say : reason itself, and rationality now need to be marketed like toothpaste and toenail polish, toilet paper or cat food.

Grim, but true.

In one of Jonathan Hutson's recent post discussions he provides a link to a piece on the Chalcedon website. You might be interested to read it.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 01:25:18 PM EST

Pick up a copy of "How to Think About Weird Things" by Schick & Vaughn.  A must read for all rational thinkers, and IMHO should be required reading for all students at some point during their educational career.

In terms of mass-media marketing - have you seen the new "anti peer pressure" ads?  I think they're using the tag line "don't fall under the influence" to mean the influence of others... perhaps some sort of advertisements that follow the same concept but illustrate the consequences of irrational thinking?


by EmilyWynn8 on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 03:56:12 PM EST

I know where, I think, this needs to go. It's not pretty but I've been down the road before. It's a shame that we don't have Chris Hedges here, but I have my own home-built analogue of a guide to the territory Hedges explored in parts of "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning"....

There are aspects to our human instinctual nature which we very much want to avoid looking at, potentials inherent in ourselves, and our instinctual repertoire, towards a savagery we can barely imagine.... but for those who have been through wars, of course. People change under those circumstances, but it's not entirely unnatural.

The only way to innoculate ourselves against that darker aspect of our nature is to study it and to come to know it for what is is.

I'm being opaque because I think I'll write something on this. The time is ripe.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 05:44:20 PM EST

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