Selling the Mormon church in 30 seconds

It's an extreme makeover, image-style. Fearing that they have been mistakenly stereotyped by the public, Mormons have launched an aggressive advertising campaign to prove that they are just like everybody else.

"We want to help people understand that we are not who they think we are," said Ron Wilson, the church official overseeing the campaign. "We're no different than you. In fact, we might be your next-door neighbor."

The Twin Cities area is one of nine markets nationwide chosen for the campaign, which includes radio, TV and Internet ads. The 30-second spots feature people talking about their passions (from surfing to skateboarding to racing bicycles), their jobs (nurse, composer, orthodontist) and their families (kids busy with soccer games and piano lessons). The ads end with the line: "And, I'm a Mormon."

Kathy Woolley, a member of the Bloomington Ward (Lutherans, think "church"; Catholics, think "parish"), is happy about the campaign.

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