The advertising battle in the imaginary friend space heated up this week.
Firstly the NZ Athiest Campaign kicked up a bit of a fuss and got some nice editorial coverage when they announced they would replicate a campaign from the UK, running ads on the side of buses with the message: “There’s probably no God. Now, stop worrying and enjoy your life”.
Not to be outdone rival organisation St. Matthews in the City hit back with their own funny/controversial billboard showing Mary and Joseph in bed, apparently in an effort to “inspire people to talk about the Christmas story”.
Santa, the most widely believed-in imaginary friend amongst the younger demographic, has been conspicuous in his absence from this debate. Although, this hasn’t stopped a grinch-y academic from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia claiming today that his obesity, speeding and drinking makes him a bad role model (presumably parents would be better, eh?)
The billboard above, via @gnat, is very funny, but is possibly too subtle to get much cut through with kids. I wonder if a message directly targeting them would be more successful? A variation on the atheists’ message, suggested by @rowsell, does the trick nicely I think:
“Santa probably isn’t real, so why not relax and be naughty”
However, if you’re one of those parents who prefers hypocrisy to cynicism, remember, Santa knows if you tell lies!