Nailing the Marketing Plan

nail.jpg“Replicas of the nails used to hang Jesus on the cross have become the red-hot official merchandise linked to Mel Gibson’s controversial new movie,The Passion of the Christ.” — ‘JESUS’ NAIL SALE, by William Neuman, The New York Post, Feb. 19, 2004
Anyone remember the old Bill Hicks routine about how pissed off Jesus would be if He came back and saw all His followers wearing crucifixes? Like He wants to see one of those ever again.
This is probably the worst movie tie-in since the official Exorcist crucifixes or the Elephant Man pillowcases.
[Photo courtesy of The New York Post]

3 replies on “Nailing the Marketing Plan”

But you have to remember a crucial difference between this movie and The Elephant Man/Exorcist. The audience on which The Passion counts is Christian-based. Christians, unlike the general audiences of the other two movies, actually seek to identify with the pain of Christ’s crucifixion. I believe Bible a verse says something like “I am crucified with Christ; therefore, I no longer live. Jesus Christ now lives in me.”
A rusty nail twisted over a thin leather band has been a trendy display of faith among Christian teenagers in the South since the late 90’s. The nail is more demonstrative of Christ’s agony on humans’ account than is the cross. A cross can mean a number of things in any given culture. A nail does one thing alone across the board [pun intended?]. A good Christian wants to remember that purpose and let it resonate in his daily life.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s totally f+kking retarded. I’m just sayin’…it’s a brilliant tie-in if you’re trying to make some bank.

Hey Nikk, thanks for all that context. I really didn’t know that people already wore those things. Knowing that, it’s even more inappropriate that “The Passion of the Christ” would hop on the bandwagon and use it as a tie-in.
Incidentally, has anyone followed this story enough to know if Mel has promised to donate any profits to charities, Christian or otherwise?

There hasn’t been a single mention of it. To the contrary, the very act of buying tickets and gear has been promoted as a signal of good Christian livin’ in itself.
Nothing beats the nail, but last month I posted about the in-church marketing program for the film, which sells tickets in 10,000-seat blocks to “best outreach opportunity in 2,000 years!”
when Word of Mouth meets Speaking in Tongues

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