Providence Challenges the Stereotypes
Providence College and Seminary, in Otterburne Manitoba, launched a new brand identity in fall 2008 and an assertive, edgy new campaign that is "stepping out of the box for our Christian Higher Education market," says Sara Beth Dacombe, Communications Coordinator. "We believe what sets us apart is that our school is not hesitant to talk about the tough issues in life, and we hope to attract young students of faith who are also ready to live differently."
The new campaign uses three ads to encourage people to think, live, and serve:
“Think” shows a pretty blonde in a classroom setting who seems confused, with the headline, “Christians use their faith as a crutch.” This ad is meant to show the stereotype that many young Christians go on to secular university or even a good Christian school and still find themselves unable to clearly and intelligently converse about their faith with others.
“Live” shows a young man holding a sign saying, “God Loves,” while an angry mob behind him holds signs saying, “God hates.” This ad is meant to show the stereotype that many Christians feel they can judge others and act in public with messages of hate.
“Serve” shows a homeless person with the headline, “The end is near, so Christians don’t care,” to show the stereotype that some Christians think they aren’t going to be on earth very long so they don’t need to care about issues like homelessness, poverty, or even the environment.
Dacombe continues, "We know there are many Christians who fall outside of these stereotypes and are doing good work, but we especially want to speak to young people and the public who may hold these stereotypes, and that’s what’s holding them back from seeing Christians in anything but a negative light. It is possible to be intelligent, to have a skilled profession, and to be active in today’s society and be a Christian. And our school is ready to step outside of the box and attract some attention to that fact."
The Challenge the Stereotype campaign begins in September 2008 and will run for at least eight weeks in national education magazines, and across radio, print, web, and bus advertising in Manitoba, Canada.