Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Here at Scamp we're celebrating Christmas with another batch of atheist adverts, created by you, the readers.

(click image if you need to enlarge)

What do you think - do you like any of these?

Keep the ideas coming: send to simon dot veksner at bbh dot co dot uk (N.B. this is not a BBH project, I just don't have another e-mail address). Next year we are going to start actually running some ads, even if I have to pay for them myself. Which I probably will.

Merry Christmas to you all.


Anca said...

The third is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Last year I was walking through the Cannes exhibition when my boss turned to me and said 'Global Warming has opened up a lot of opportunities for creatives'. And he was right. There were so many ads on the subject it was a joke. The whole issue, massively important as it was, had been bottled up and packaged by a our frivolous minds for no other reason than to win awards. They certainly weren't going to help solve the problem even one tiny bit.

I think you know where I am going with this...

Stop it Scamp. You have nothing interesting to say on this matter and neither will any of your friends. The first reason for this is because you work in advertising. The second is because you have never had any personal experience of religious persecution. The whole exercise is completely pointless so why?

PH said...

They're overly smug and devoid of any real wit or insight. The only one that gets near to saying anything remotely interesting is the Doctor one. I'd suggest the creators watch the Dawkins South Park episode(s).
Merry Christmas!

PH said...

Oh and Anca is right again, the Nativity one decent.

Anonymous said...

All these Atheist ads are truly poor. Where is the Argument against the existence of God? All I see is a bunch of lame jokes. Which are neither funny nor clever.

Where is the convincing argument?
There isn’t one here.

I should know. I studied theology.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Scamp.
And a Happy New Year to you and all the anonymouses.

Anonymous said...

the twat one is the answer

it's perfect.

well done whoever did it.

i've been very critical of all of these cos their shite. but that one is funny as hell.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:16

I don't think you need to experience violent religious persecution in order to make a convincing add about it. That's quite frankly ludicrous, what happened to vicarious experiences and imagination?

Second, I would still like to think we in advertisement can say something of substance without coming off as award-whores. Just perception on the matter.

merry x-mass.

merry x-mas

LimitedTimeOffer said...

I still think these are very lazy. Taking cheap shots at God or religion is easy, stop picking all the low-hanging fruit.

Anonymous said...

I think the best one is the one with the doctor. The one above it has a contrast issue with the website name against the background, and is really only a seasonal jab. The doctor one can be used year round, and isn't as mean spirited.

Although I *AGREE* with the top one fully, it's not going to do you any favors as an ad.

Rana said...

It isn't Jesus' birthday anytime around about now anyway - it's just the time that early xians decided to hijack a pagan festival.

Anonymous oxymoron: "I should know. I studied theology."

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all from a secular Christian (we do exist!)

Jam said...

4th one is great, the rest are cheap shots that would little other than reassure already-atheists.

God bless us, every one!

HAROLD said...

Fuck me. Fuck me. Fuck me. Is the problem to do with god? Or is it really religion?

P.s. Is the Pope a c*nt?
My gay mates love him. They want to take him down club tropicana and date-rape his face.

Merry xmas one and all. Except the Pope. He's certainly filed under C*nt in my book.

Anonymous said...

this is going nowhere. it comes off as simply taking potshots at Christianity. where are the potshots at judaism and islam and buddhism?

And anyone who identifies themselves as atheist or agnostic is by definition a bit dull and unimaginative. they have the arrogance to place their little selves at the centre of the universe. And all because they're not sure. they want to see the evidence! the shroud of turin isn't enough.

anyhoo...happy Hanukkah/Christmas/Spaghetti Monster Time! to scamp and his happy readers. great blog. keep it up etc.

Anonymous said...

isn't the first ad hate speech?
wow - really inappropriate on xmas day, whatever you believe in.

Rupert James said...

Why would there even be a budget to propagate such a non-message? Who's the client? What's the brand?

Love your blog, Scamp, but this is like taking candy from a kid. It's such an easy brief I'd think it was Christmas if it arrived on my desk. Oh, it is.

Scamp said...

The advertiser will be a website called DiscoverAtheism.Info

The message will be paid for by individuals who are perturbed by the recent surge in religious advertising (e.g. The Alpha Course) and want to ensure that a rational, science-based view of the world is also heard.

Rupert, send that candy to simon dot veksner at bbh dot co dot uk

Anonymous said...

Still can't see the motivation behind this?

Trying to get people to not believe in stuff?

Scamp said...

The motivation is to make the world a better place, by replacing superstition with rational beliefs.

I want to stop people believing in 'stuff' which variously discriminates against women, gay people, and people of other superstitions.... could go on...

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Ok that's really enough now. They aren't really funny, don't make any point that hasn't been better made by George Carlin or someone else, and are starting to disappear so far up their own arsehole that they appearing through their nose.

Unless someone is going to run these in America or Saudi Arabia then quite frankly they aren't worth their effort or yours Scamp.

Anonymous said...

"want to ensure that a rational, science-based view of the world is also heard."

Scamp. Do you think any of the example ads you put up put forward a rational science based view of the world? Cos to me they just seem like cheap, easy, jokes

Scamp said...

I'd disagree. Sometimes a joke can be the most effective warhead for a rational argument.

The problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a God has troubled theists since the time of the ancient Mesopotamians. According to Wikipedia.

In fact, look up "the problem of evil" on Wikipedia, and see who you think phrases it best. Folks like Epicurus put it in their own way, bit long-winded IMO, but well-stated... writing "If God exists, he's a twat" over an image of New Orleans after the flood is a pretty neat way of putting it in our time, I reckon.

Ben Kay said...

The 'If God Exists He's A Twat' reminds me of a campaign I did at Watford. It was for Bishop's Finger Ale and and it showed images of The Herald of Free Enterprise sinking, emaciated Ethiopians etc. and had the endline: 'When God gets pissed he gets pissed on this.'

The team that set the brief refused to review it.

That would have been my darkest hour, but for my anti-child molestation campaign that featured Fred West and Gary Glitter with the endline: 'Tag 'em or we'll shag 'em'.

Tony was not a happy bunny.

Anca said...


An ironic attitude is a take-it-easy message to the religious people and a be-proud-to-use-your-brain message to the atheists and to the ones that don’t dare to choose the rational path.

A more serious and passionate attitude would sound like responding to stupid extremism with… stupid extremism, just from the opposite river bank. We’re not trying to set up a social war here -- we’re just driving faster, not looking for a collision.

Anonymous said...

I notice that the ads target only the Christian God.
But if it's a campaign for aethism, then how about the other religions?
Even in the UK, other religions are gaining more followers.

Anonymous said...


Scamp said...

I agree that ad number 3 specifically targets Christianity. But the others don't, do they?

In any case, these ads are intended to run in the UK, where Christianity is by far the dominant superstition - about 72% told the 2001 census that they were Christian.

Anonymous said...

I think there are two problems with the majority of the ads that have been put forward so far.

I don't know whether it's the emotional, personal, deep links people have with their beliefs that are throwing some basic ‘rules’ out of the window here, but I don't think briefs for other 'products' would get the same uniform, reactive, aggressive approach.

Problem 1) There is an assumption that Atheism is an angry reaction to Christianity.

Maybe people are Atheist because they believe in it? Their non-belief can be as strong and meaningful as a belief in a god. Their ‘faith’ doesn’t have to stem from dislike of something else. Don't assume these people are religion haters. If this was an ad for toilet cleaner and you positioned it as "A cure for all you germ-obsessed OCD housewife freaks" it would be rejected. You'd be accused of stereotyping and insulting your audience.

Problem 2) The ads hang-off the criticism of religion, rather than selling the features and benefits of Atheism.

I work in-house and it's company policy not to name / shame / compare competitors. The focus is on us, why we're good, how we're different and the great stuff we've got to offer. Slagging off the competition can make you look weak / desperate / childish / unprofessional and can even, unwittingly, rouse support for your competitors and increase their brand awareness.

Anonymous said...

Imagine you are Joseph. Your wife Mary comes home one day and says shes pregnant. "How can that be? We've never had sex" you say. She replies "Yeah I know, it was god". Then nine months later when the baby is born, 3 guys turn up with their camels, and take the baby away. You have to admit, even the least jealous bloke would be slightly suspicious at this point.