I almost got shot. kinda.
A few days ago, as I was leaving my apartment, a car sped across the parking lot to intercept me. I had just about reached my car when I noticed the driver stopping directly behind my car, blocking me. The two passengers jumped out of the car and came straight at me.
I get a lot of hate-mail and I’ve had more than a few death threats. I keep my address a secret, but I’ve had people track me down in the past. So, when I saw a car speed up and two people jump out, it freaked me out.
One of them asked me if I valued the mind and body benefits of exercise. I said yes and that I needed to get going. They assured me that they’d move the car, but perhaps I wanted to take some reading material with me to look over when I had more time.
So I took their pamphlet. My only excuse is that I thought I was going to get stabbed or something, and I just wanted to get out of there. It wasn’t until later that I looked at the pamphlet. It slowly went from exercise to Jesus. It turned out to be disguised Jehovah’s Witness propaganda, the Watchtower. I figured that they tricked me fair and square, so I felt obligated to read it.
What I learned by this experience
The pamphlet, itself, was kind of Jesusy. But it gave me some fantastic ideas for expanding the Pastafarian congregation. Clearly, the way to get more members is to trick them; make them think they’re signing up for one thing and then â€“ bam â€“ all the sudden you hit them with the gospel-speak, and you’ve got them.
So, I’ve decided that we’re going to do a similar campaign to trick people into joining FSM, specifically, members of other religions, especially the religions who propagandize. I figure that we’ve already got the open-minded people, now we need the gullible ones.
Internet advertising – like magic, but nerdier
You can target advertisements to specific categories of websites. We’re going to be targeting competing religious websites. Any religion who hands out pamphlets is fair game. Lots of religious websites sell ad-space through 3rd parties, and we’ll be able to place OUR ads on their pages, and steal their members.
It’ll work like this: their members will go to the church websites as usual, and they’ll see a small ad suggesting that there is more to their religion. Some of them will click the ad and be brought to a specific catch page, where they’ll hear fantastic arguments on why they should convert.
I need your help with any of the following:
1) Specific strategies for each religion. For example, for Jehovah’s Witnesses, we could push that we, also, reject Orthodox Christianity. And the strategies don’t need to be that on-topic. The Jehovah’s Witnesses got me with an exercise pamphlet, we could just as easily have a pirate angle or something. We’ll have different strategies for the other religions – Mormons, Young Earth Christians, Scientologists, etc. Let’s brainstorm. Either post in the comments or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Nich text ads. We need short, catchy text ads that will appeal to each of the target religions. The content of these ads will be more clear once we’ve established our strategies for each religion.
3) Small Image Ads. People with art skills, get creative. Same deal with the text ads, we’re going to know more once we know what our angle is. We’ll need ads in the following dimensions:
4)Individual Catch Pages. Once they click the ad, they’ll be brought to a page on the FSM site which will expand on the idea presented in the ad and slowly make the argument that they should convert to Pastafarianism. I need help with this.
5) Money. I’ve put aside a few thousand for this. Ads cost between $0.25 and upwards of $5 per thousand views. I’m hoping for a budget of at least $5k. If you want to help, you can either donate, or buy some FSM merchandise.
So, that’s my idea. What do you think?