Monday, April 16, 2007

Bad fried chicken and 120 gallons of wine

Question #1

Why don't you blog more often, John?


Because I don't have to.

Thankful to have the tedious Q&A session behind me, I want to talk a bit about advertising. I saw an ad that has me scratching my head.

Do we have any high-powered, high-paid advertising executives out there? Anyone reading this stuff who feels they have a grasp on what motivates the masses to need or desire certain products or services? If so, let me give you a scenario and tell me how you would handle it.

Let's say I work for you, and you have called an important meeting for our client, a fast-food, fried chicken company. This is a brainstorming session, and we need to discuss how to best move some fried chicken.

Here's my idea: How about a guy is in a prison cell, and some guards walk in with a bucket of our client's fried chicken. They toss the bucket down in front of the inmate, who picks up a chicken leg and smells it. He then falls to the ground screaming and yelling, practically convulsing in displeasure.

You'd do the right thing. You'd throw me out of the meeting for wasting your time.

Well, get a load of this video. Someone fell for it.



How's that for selling the sizzle and not the steak, so to speak? Obviously I'm missing something in the translation. Or, this agency is hoping some people are willing to pay nearly $200 for what appears to be very bad fried chicken.

I remember a great ad that a guy brought into my college newspaper office. He had a display ad he wanted to run with a big headline: "How to get 1,000,000 people to send you $1." The only other text in the ad was the words, "For more information, send $1 to (his name and address)."

After careful consideration, the advisor and the editorial team came to the tough decision not to run the ad, although we commended the guy on his clever writing skills. I hope he graduated and found a job in advertising. Maybe he's got the fried chicken account.

Let's spend a few minutes in God's Word, shall we? Jesus has just performed his first miracle by turning more than 120 gallons of water into wine at a wedding. If he thought the Pharisees were bad, imagine him pulling that stunt today in America, if he were on planet Earth now.

He'd never be able to walk into an evangelical church in the U.S. again. They'd have no part in that nonsense. Seriously, think about it.

Jesus said that we would do greater things than even he did (John 14:12). If you're looking for something great to do for God in the miracles department, I suggest pulling someone out of a wheelchair or raising the dead. Turning water into numerous gallons of wine in public sounds like a good way to find yourself church shopping.

It was an interesting choice for Jesus' first miracle, wasn't it? He is God. He could have done anything amazing that he wanted, but He chose to turn water into wine.

It reminds me of a story I heard once. A parishioner asked his pastor if it was OK for Christians to drink alcohol.

The pastor said, "No."

"But I thought Jesus turned water into wine," the parishioner replied.

"He did," said the pastor. "So pour yourself a glass of water, and when Jesus turns it to wine, please feel free to drink it."

Ha ha. I was reminded of this because I read the second chapter of John today and this passage jumped out at me:

...and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had to much to drink; but you have saved the best until now." (John 2: 9,10)

Isn't that just like our God? Saving the best for last? That's kinda the way I like to look at my life during this season. Sometimes it feels like I've run out of wine at this little party, so to speak.

What's God saying here to me and you? "The best is yet to come."

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