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NBC Lands Lucrative Follow-Up to History Channel's Bible Series

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2013 05:41 PM

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are bringing their follow-up to the hugely successful History Channel 10-part miniseries, The Bible, to NBC after the broadcast network outbid History, which will focus instead on its own original content.

A.D.: Beyond the Bible will pick up after Jesus’ death and document the rise of his disciples amid religious unrest. The original series, which ran on cable in March, changed the television landscape, averaging 13.2 million viewers and in its first week of home-video release, rose to the top-selling miniseries of all-time and No. 1 TV series on DVD and Blu-ray since 2008.

"I followed the development process of The Bible closely with Mark,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a statement, according to USA Today, “and knew that the story was far from over after Christ's crucifixion. In fact, what happened in the aftermath—which is essentially the beginning of Christianity—is utterly fascinating.”Continue reading...

media brands

Religion and Marketing: How Media is Creating a Celestial Union

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 18, 2013 11:21 AM

As the world embraces a new Pope, and arguably a new papal brand, the coincidence of religion, branding and social media have reached new heights.

The History Channel’s 10-part miniseries, "The Bible," garnered 14.1 million viewers last week, more than any other show on cable television in 2013. Produced by Mark Burnett, ("Survivor," "The Apprentice," "Shark Tank") and his wife Roma Downey (who portrays the Virgin Mary), the miniseries looks to target those with general knowledge of Scripture. 

"It’s also packaged with enough bloodlust to capture channel surfers," notes Business Week. "In that regard, the series resembles Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, a movie bloggers called The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre—and which raked in more than $600 million at the box office."Continue reading...

personal brands

Debate Over Church's Future Is Only Sure Thing As Pope Benedict Resigns

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2013 11:53 AM

He staunchly defended and advanced the conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church, stood by its traditions on abortion and euthanasia and gay marriage and married clergy, and coped with the epochal tarnish of pedophilic priests. But none of that apparently prompted Pope Benedict XVI to announce his resignation on Monday.

Rather, the 85-year-old German cited a lack of physical strength and "advanced age" for deciding to step down from his post on February 28, becoming the first pope to resign in almost 600 years.

Benedict also proved his conservatism by championing the European roots of a religion that is growing most in emerging countries. Yet he embraced social media.

In any event, the departure of Benedict — whose given name was Joseph Ratzinger and Twitter handle is @pontifex — could suggest an opening for changes to the spiritual leadership of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide and a wider conversation about the church's brand.Continue reading...


The New Popemobile is an Electric Vehicle by Renault

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 7, 2012 12:19 PM

Carlos Ghosn, Renault Group's Chairman and CEO, has presented His Holiness Benedict XVI (better known as "the Pope") with the keys of a 100% electric vehicle "based on the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. and a second electric vehicle for use by the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City for the Pope's security." A reminder to the Pontiff, whose digital corps at the Vatican just launched an Android app for Vatican Radio: don't tweet and drive.

celebrity brandmatch

Active Faith: Pro Athletes Bring Christian Apparel to the Masses

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 30, 2012 03:33 PM

There have always been Christian athletes in the ranks of professional sports. Guys would pray together in the end zone or in the locker room. Last year, some pro teams even started to add religion-themed promotional fan days.

The San Francisco Giants, for example, added days had game promotions for Christian, Jewish, and Mormon fans planned, according to USA Today, which didn’t sit well with Muslim fans of the team. Oakland A’s yarmulkes were handed out a Jewish Heritage Night that team held. The rise of new New York Jet Tim Tebow and the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, two very devout Christians (and pals, apparently), has drawn attention to how religion and professional sports mix. 

Two pro basketball players — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver and former NBA D-Leaguer Lanny Smith — have been capitalizing on all that interest, the Associated Press reports. The pair have started a company that produces sports apparel with Christian messages, called (punningly) Active Faith.

Lin, for one, wears the company’s wristbands during games with the IJNIP (“In Jesus’ Name I Play”) slogan on them, the AP notes. And other pro-ball players are getting into the act, too: Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry and San Diego Padres pitcher Micah Owings have invested in the brand.Continue reading...


My Shariah: Understanding the 'Understanding Shariah' Branding Effort

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 8, 2012 01:07 PM

As a branding campaign it seems rather hopeless. But at the same time, it really has nowhere to go but up.

At least that's what the Islamic Circle of North America must be thinking with its latest "education campaign to promote religious freedom and combat Islamophobia." Called "Understanding Shariah," it has its work cut out for it.Continue reading...

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'The Devil Inside' Sells Exorcism as Catholic Church Sells Itself

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 9, 2012 12:53 PM

The low-budget, box office-topping exorcism horror flick is (almost) an annual rite of passage in Hollywood. Pun intended. This year's film came early in the form of The Devil Inside, the tale of a woman's trip to The Vatican to learn the truth about her (just maybe) demonically possessed mother.

The Devil Inside's deep focus on Catholicism comes at a particularly interesting time as the Catholic church itself pushes a major media campaign in the hopes of inspiring Catholics to "come home." Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lowe's All-American Muslim Ban Leads 2011 PR Blunders

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2012 05:01 PM

Lowe's controversial decision to pull its advertising from TLC's All-American Muslim reality series — already spoofed by Funny or Die — has been named one of the top PR disasters of 2011 by Business News Daily. Read more here.

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