college ministries & multi-front recruiting

A quiz about commercials and branding: Can you name the companies advertised by these three well-known ad campaigns?

  1. A green British gecko who urges you to buy insurance
  2. Cavemen who chafe under the inference that something is “so easy, even [they] can do it”
  3. A pile of cash with googly eyes and semi-creepy music
  4. The tagline, “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more”

Got your answers?

That’s right, they’re all marketing efforts of the Government Employees Insurance Company, better known as GEICO.

But as you may have noticed, these aren’t “Famous GEICO Campaigns from History.” These campaigns have run concurrently, even though they’re all clearly a marketing campaign of their own.

And this multi-pronged approach has a lot to commend it.

Have you ever thought about recruiting students to your ministry this way? I know it’s easy to think in terms of “mega-branding,” making darn sure you keep everything from the background images to the fonts identical between your advertising efforts: campus signs, newspaper ads, banners, web page, T-shirts, emails, and so on.

But might your ministry draw more students – and different kinds of students – with a multi-pronged approach? This isn’t just about getting a bigger number of students – but advertising in ways other than our normal might introduce us to students other than our normal, too.

written from Lakewood, CO (in the Denver area)


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Road Trip 13: Day 23
recap: long driving day 1 of 3… including a great campus stop
campus visit: Mesa State College (#16)
T-shirt: the Falcon tribe of Lackawanna College (of Scranton, PA)
monday: another long drive as I make my way to Fargo, with a little MORE explorin’ along the way (see all explorations so far)


  1. Great thoughts here, and maybe the most creative use of GEICO ever. Multiple concurrent campaigns might be counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense in a setting as diverse as college and university campuses.

    At the same time, you might have a problem if you ran campaigns that appealed to diverse groups, and then didn’t actually have anything for them when they came.

    I could see this working really well in a ministry where students were committed to going to and being amongst diverse campus sub-cultures on their turfs. In that case, this would serve as a great way of enabling students to mash-up and remix as needed in order to fit who you are to the people to whom they are sent.

    You can’t attract everyone, but you can go to anyone. Seems like this would be a great tool in achieving the latter.

  2. That’s definitely wise, Nick. Thanks for adding that.

    In some cases, you’d want to draw somewhat-diverse groups to the general large group meeting (or event) – but you’re right, it had better be something that isn’t just appealing in its advertisements but actually fits once they arrive.

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