The American Humanist Association launched a new nationwide ad campaign to encourage people to “Consider Humanism.” And I have to say, I LIKE this campaign. It is way better then the “good without god” campaign they had last year. I understand why they did that campaign, but honestly, you don’t need to bring god into the discussion when talking about Humanism. Really, you don’t.
Anyway, I love the print ads - they contrast a quote from the bible with a quote from a famous Humanist. I particularly like the one on Hatred, which features Katherine Hepburn where she says, “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there is nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.” This quote is contrasted with one from Luke where Jesus is quoted as saying that he only wants disciples who hate their parents.
Anyway, they also have television ads. And in the traditional Humanist spirit of “hey, that’s not the way I would have done it,” I am going to give my two cents on the tv ads. The main one on the site, spot #2, I like. It has a older looking white guy giving the religious quote and a nice looking young woman giving the Humanist quote. The impression one gets is that the religious quote is quite literally old and ugly (no offense to the actor who is well groomed, it is just what he is saying is really pretty disturbing) while Humanism is portrayed as fresh and beautiful. Perfect.
But the other two ads, feature Richard Dawkins and Carl Coon. And while I like what they say in their spots, my gut impression of them was - old white guy vs old white guy. It doesn’t have the same visual impact that the young lady has. In them, Humanism isn’t fresh, its old and white just like the religious quote is.
So, to my good friends over at the AHA, I do honestly love the spots. Just next time you spend this much money, try paying a little more attention to what the visuals are saying, and not just to what the script says. Just because Dawkins agreed to appear in the spot doesn’t mean you actually have to use him if his presence ruins the visual appeal of the spot. (Again, no offense to Dawkins who is also well groomed and quite handsome - but he is old and white).