Telling (most of) the truth

It's ironic how leery we are of marketers. We question their motives and accuse them of pushing agendas upon us, yet our own behavior imitates theirs every day.

Everyone stands for something, believes in something, supports something, and we frequently do whatever it takes to sell that something. Just consider the best foot a young man puts forward in trying to woo a pretty girl. It's not really him he's promoting - only the best of him that he wants her to see. Conference presenters, pastors, car salesmen, Mary Kay associates and Thai food fans do the same thing.

Of course, some of us may use more (or less) truth than others, but our intent is the same: to sell. Mouth closed or open, we tell others what we like and dislike, support and oppose, and in that telling we act very much like marketers.

I came across these two attention-grabbing political cartoons recently. They both sell ideas and also raise questions in me.

1. Do the cartoons tell the whole story about either the auto industry or Bush's presidency? If not, is there anything wrong with telling partial stories?

2. Do you tell whole stories or partial stories when you sell something?

3. What stands out to you visually and/or narratively that makes these cartoons compelling?

4. What compelling techniques have you used to convince someone?

Cartoons by David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star and Pat Bagley of the Salt Lake Tribune.


Real Live Preacher November 23, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

this site always intrigues me. And gets me thinking.

I've noticed, as you have so nicely stated - that we all market ourselves. Have to. And it's hard to know when a person crosses the line, right? Somehow the trembling boy, putting on his best manners to impress the father of the girl he loves seems to be doing the right thing. He's trying to both present and become. And somehow the boy who says all the right things to impress the girl's father, all the while planning to take advantage of her sexually is over the line.

Hard to know.

It helps me, with big questions, to remember that the only real question is the one about my life. And in the case of our church, our church. Are we seeking to become better and trying to put our best foot forward honestly, with goodness in mind? If so, market away blessed church.

Or have we somehow crossed the line, putting whatever we can out there to fill the seats because we've over-extended ourselves in staff and facility and we HAVE to fill those seats.

The eternal question.

Sam Van Eman November 25, 2008 at 8:37 AM  

Good reflection, RLP.

I think it's a success just recognizing there are questions to ask, and then another being able to name them.

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