Additional ads to run April 14, May 12; online campaign targets Google searches.
This second phase of the Time campaign consists of two full-page ads in April and May. The ad in the April 14 issue carries the slogan, “When in Doubt, Pray. When in Prayer, Doubt.” It includes an offer for a free 10-minute DVD, “Voices of a Liberal Faith,” to introduce newcomers to Unitarian Universalism.
The May 12 issue, which is the annual “Time 100” issue featuring 100 of the most influential people in the world, carries a Unitarian Universalism ad with the line, “My God is Better Than Your God,” and also includes the free DVD offer for newcomers. (See Related Resources for how individual UUs and congregations can order the DVD.)
Last fall and winter the UUA ran ads in three issues of Time. The Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris, coordinator of the ad campaign for the UUA, said visits to the visitors’ page on UUA.org increased by 126 percent during the fall campaign and much of that is likely due to the Time ads as well as a regional ad campaign in the San Francisco Bay area taking place at the time.
The UUA is also running a Google AdWords campaign this spring, similar to one in effect last fall. When a user searches for words the UUA has chosen, they may see a relevant ad for Unitarian Universalism. If the internet user then clicks the link in our ad they are connected to UUA.org.
For the Google ad campaign, the UUA pitched ads to keywords such as “Unitarian Universalist,” “spirituality,” “definition of religion,” “what is agnostic,” and “gay-friendly church.” Keyword choices for the spring campaign are still being made, Robinson-Harris said. She said the words are a way of helping people find Unitarian Universalism even if they’re not aware of it. More than 100 words and phrases are being used.
“The words do work,” she said, noting that the ad word campaign last fall led to almost 10,000 people finding their way to UUA.org.
Robinson-Harris said no more Time ads are planned after May 12. Google AdWords will be used into July. The UUA marketing team and its advertising agency, Swardlick Marketing Group, of Portland, Maine, will be doing an analysis to determine what type of ad campaign might be possible for next fall.
The UUA's national advertising campaign is supported by UU congregations who contributed to Association Sunday, a fundraising effort held last fall. See Related Resources for more information on the UUA’s national marketing campaign, and to see the two new Time ads.
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.