Interview with Church director of media about the new Mormon ads

The LDS Church recently launched an advertising campaign in nine U.S. markets including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Baton Rouge, La.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Rochester, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Tucson, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla. The campaign includes ads on television, radio, billboards, bus platforms and the interior of transit vehicles. In the international English-speaking world the campaign has a digital and social media reach through Internet ads, Facebook and YouTube. As part of the campaign, church members are invited to share their profile on the mormon.org website.

The Mormon Media Observer met with Scott Swofford, director of media for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at church headquarters to discuss the campaign. What follows are excerpts from the interview.

MMO: These ads have a very basic message. "This is my life, this is who I am and I am a Mormon." What message are you trying to help people understand with that kind of message?

Swofford: Well, you can go on and on all day long trying to define yourself in the minds of the public or you can, in fact, connect them to members of the church. When you do that you see the incredible diversity, the various walks of life that Latter-day Saints are involved in, and they see that Mormon thinking can be diverse as it needs to be to live their life. Yet surprisingly, if you read the 3,000 Mormon.org profiles, you will find those people are very unified in the understanding of what they believe. It is shocking. I expected responses to be all over the place, and they are not. People in their own words are articulating in their beliefs better than perhaps we could.

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