Cinemas are private establishments, and so are free to advertise whatever they like and decline to advertise whatever they don’t like. Pearl & Dean dominated cinema advertising in the 1950s-70s, but multiple mergers and takeovers gradually depleted their market share, and their cheesy theme tune is now just one among a myriad of agencies competing for your money. The best ads, of course, are the memorable ones: they tend to play on fear, sex, thrills or journeys. If the advertisers want to target young teenage males, for example, they’ll inject the erotic, masculine imagery of adventure and aspiration. The more human and intuitively feeling the ad is, the more successful the brand campaign tends to be.
The Church of England produced an advert promoting their new website JustPray.uk, which seeks to create a digital place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray. The site also provides a ”˜live prayer’ feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine. The promotional 60-second advert features Christians from all walks of life praying one line of the Lord’s Prayer, and includes weight lifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, school children, a mourner at a graveside, a festival goer and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was to have been shown in cinemas from 18th December as part of the ad reel before ”˜Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Why not harness the Force for the power of the Lord’s Prayer?