“There is a great amount of interest in Mormons right now in the UK and Ireland,” said Church leader Elder Clifford Herbertson. “People are asking the question, ‘Who are the Mormons?’ and when people are asking questions, we want to be here to provide them with the answers of how and why we follow Jesus Christ.”
“I’m a Mormon” adverts first ran in selected cities in the United States in 2010. A similar campaign to the one running in London was centred in New York City’s Times Square in 2011. Both of these campaigns coincided with the launch of The Book of Mormon Musical in each respective city.
“When people get to know a member of our faith, misperceptions and misunderstanding quickly disappear and are replaced by mutual respect and friendship; these adverts are in no way a tacit endorsement of the play but we want those who have questions to know where they can find real answers.” said Elder Clifford Herbertson. “We hope this campaign opens the door for many more people to learn about us and will understand that we are people of faith who seek to follow Jesus Christ.”
The Church has no connection to or offered any endorsement of the musical and has made its position clear on the production (see statement). However, questions and interest generated by the production provide the Church with an opportunity to better inform the public about who Mormons truly are and how their Christ-centred faith enriches their lives.
About the integrated media campaign
In London, 250 double-decker buses will feature advertisements as will Charing Cross mainline station and ten tube stations including Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, for the next four weeks. Throughout the rest of the UK and Ireland, the effort will be focused on the Internet, where people will see “I’m a Mormon” ads through the end of 2013.
For those who want to learn more, the adverts refer viewers to Mormon.org.uk, a version of the Church’s Mormon.org website specifically for the UK and Ireland. In the last year, the Mormon.org website has had over 20 million visitors globally including the UK and Ireland.
Similar to previous “I’m a Mormon” efforts, this campaign features individual Mormons from the United Kingdom and Ireland in text, photos and video.
Since 2012, the Church has produced 155 video portraits of Mormons as part of this campaign. Fifteen of those videos feature Mormons from the UK and Ireland. In addition to the 155 video portraits, there are 130,000 profile pages on Mormon.org created by individual Mormons who want to share their faith.
The advertisements in the UK invite viewers to “ask a Mormon,” and include statements of faith by Mormons such as “Jesus Christ is my compass” and “When I lost my way, God helped me find it.” The Church invites anyone with questions to "ask a Mormon" via mormon.org.uk or Twitter at twitter.com/AskAMormon.
The campaign is built on the premise that people come to best know and understand the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by getting to know its people.
In addition to the “I’m a Mormon” advertisements, the Church is also running adverts in theatre Playbills for The Book of Mormon Musical. They read, “You’ve seen the play, now read the book” or “The book is always better.”
There are more than 188,000 Church members throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Church roots in the country date back to 1837 when missionaries first arrived in England.
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