Cover image for God speaks
Title:
God speaks
Author:
Robb, Charles.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Villard, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) ; 15 x 20 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780375504273
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Wherever you go, there I am." "I don't question your existence." "I'm also making a list and checking it twice." "If we don't communicate, you haven't got a prayer." In 1998, an anonymous client gave the Smith advertising agency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, $150,000 to create an advertising campaign to reach people who used to be faithful to a religion but had drifted away. The result was a humorous, thought-provoking, nondenominational series of quotes from God, run on billboards. The campaign created such a positive response that the Outdoor Advertising Association of America picked it as its public-service campaign for the year and began running it in two hundred cities nationwide. The billboards have been featured on the Today show, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and CNN and covered by more than two thousand newspapers and countless local radio and television stations. Now you can read God Speaks, the book. Witty, jubilant, and inspiring, God Speaks is an irresistible wonder of a book.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Introduction This all started in June 1998. 1 was working as the creative director for the Smith Agency, a small advertising firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Andy Smith, the president of the agency, came into my office one afternoon to discuss an unusual assignment from an unusual client. The client, who wished to remain anonymous, wanted us to create a billboard campaign that would reach people who had, for whatever reason, drifted away from church or synagogue. The idea was to get people to think about their spirituality and having a relationship with God in their everyday lives. At the time I thought it somewhat ironic that I would be asked to work on an advertising campaign designed to reach.... well, me. Because like a lot of people, my attendance at religious services had become pretty much limited to weddings and funerals. We didn't think that overtly religious messages would be the answer here, but rather that this campaign would have to be something contemporary yet totally unexpected. That's when I thought of creating the series of quotes in God Speaks. My method was simple: As I thought of the fundamental lessons I had learned from my parents and in Sunday School, I tried to put them into the language of today, often with a sense of humor. Later, when the campaign was a success, an interviewer asked me how I knew God had a sense of humor. I said, "If he doesn't, I'm in serious trouble." From more than one hundred lines created, we chose eighteen to run as ads in the Fort Lauderdale campaign. While those first "God Speaks" lines ran the gamut from serious to poignant to funny, all were designed to make you smile in recognition-and then think about some of the deeper levels of your life and yourself. The look of the campaign, we believed, should be simple, straightforward, and stark. The result: black signs with white type. No logo, no phone number. The client liked our ideas, added a couple of lines, and shelled out in the neighborhood of $150,000 for the first billboards. It still astounds me that someone could be altruistic enough to pay for something like this and not want recognition for it. I believe what he said was, "The message is what's important here, not who paid for it." At any rate, the campaign we called "God Speaks" began running in September 1998, and the billboards were scheduled to be up for three months. Almost as soon as the ads appeared, the local press began to cover the story. It seemed as if we were doing interviews daily. Everybody wanted to know who the anonymous client was, but on that subject, we weren't talking. Soon, the story began to get national attention: Peter Jennings closed World News Tonight one evening with it, and CNN ran it internationally. (I know this because I got a call from a woman who saw it on TV in Israel.) There was also a segment about "God Speaks" on the Today show. Three months later, just as the original billboards were coming down, the Smith Agency got a call from Eller Media, perhaps the largest billboard company in the world, saying that Mr. Eller himself had heard of the campaign and wanted it to run nationwide! He wanted to know if the anonymous client would donate the billboard sayings. The answer: In a heartbeat! The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the trade group made up of all the companies who own and rent billboards, was approached by Eller, and they agreed to coordinate making "God Speaks" their national public service advertising campaign for 1999. And by the end of 1999, the campaign appeared on something like 10,000 outdoor signs in 200 cities around the United States. It has also been translated into Spanish for Puerto Rico and there are plans in the works to take "God Speaks" worldwide. I've been asked why I think "God Speaks" has generated so much interest, and of course I can only speculate, starting where most writers start, with myself and the people I know. I think people today are deeply interested in getting back to the traditional values they were raised with, or in forming their own strong ties to ethics, to morality, to humanity. And within this introspective quest is a place for the kind of humor that makes self-discovery more enjoyable and life more fulfilling. That certainly is the perspective of "God Speaks." But I think there's another reason why these "quotes" from God, resonate with people. The God at the heart of this is an approachable, caring deity. He is not only a wise and forgiving friend, but rather a presence who has seen all the human foibles, who understands our trials and tribulations, yet urges us to reevaluate every day-even on the fly--our internal moral compasses. 7b keep the big picture in mind, to make our lives matter. And He speaks in a kind and gentle way. So here is God Speaks, the book. Excerpted from God Speaks by Charles Robb All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.