Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Most Unchristian Marketing in the World, Ever?

'the Best Hymns Album in the World, Ever' proclaims the label. Yes the track listing looks good, but the title fails at several points:

- what place has any Christian individual or group in claiming that what it has produced is 'the best in the world, ever'? Pride. Fail.

- the title sets the production company as judge and jury over what constitutes 'best'. Presumption. Fail

- Sure we're supposed to commend the good, but there's a difference between commending and hype. It's a vast difference if you've a financial interest in one over the other. Greed. Fail.

- On what basis is this 'the best ever'? Best collection? Best production quality? Best lyrics? 'there is a green hill' is factually pretty loose as there isn't much greenery around Jerusalem at the best of times. There is a very good chance that the claim of the title simply isn't true, and without reasonable evidence/proof, this is either misleading, manipulation, or downright deceit. It's a long way from 'let your yes be yes and your no be no'. In fact, Jesus went on to say 'any more than this comes from the evil one.'

We know that church marketing sucks, but perhaps it's worse. Is marketing satanic?


  1. Agreed, David. Sadly this seems to be the state of play in the so-called 'Christian' marketplace as 'Christian' companies big themselves up ... and the bigger they become, the harder they fall: witness the collapse of Biblica's grand globalisation strategy that led to the fall of Wesley Owen and its associated companies.

    I for one will not be stocking this album. I'll order it if someone personally requests it, but it certainly won't be displayed in the shop.

    Best ever? So that's it then: no more hymns to be written? No: the best is yet to be and there's more than "a very good chance that the claim of the title simply isn't true" — it's an absolute certainty. Pure bull.

  2. Bill Hicks said it first and best. Sensitive readers beware - Bill swore more than Malcolm Tucker does.

  3. erm, it probably is rubbish marketing, but they've taken it from here:!

  4. Yup, lies, all of it.

    A better title would be "our pick of modern western sentimental hymns".

    Things that spring to mind that ought to be there if the title were not a lie:

    "I bind unto myself today..."
    "The angel cried ..."

  5. What a cynical approach by this blog. I am afraid that all marketing, and indeed all of life, is opinion. Hyperbole is a valid form of expression (I recall it being used by both Elijah and Paul for example), and seeing as this album has sold well in the mainstream, getting some great words into people's homes, is a good thing.

    I don't this the marketing on this as problematic at all - it is using an established style used for packaged music products that doesn't deceive or mislead.

  6. Even Calsberg preface their 'best in the world' adverts with 'probably'. There is an immediate problem with any Christian which proclaims that they are the best in the world, or that what they do/make is the best in the world. I think there are moral limits to marketing, and the end (getting some good hymns into peoples homes) doesn't always justify the means.

    If a church/preacher/band declared that what they produced was the best in the world, ever, don't you think that would smack a little of pride? How is this substantially different?