Well, here's one for you to chew on: In a secular society, are some people's sacred religious icons fair game for satire?
These transit ads (via IBIA) by Ogilvy in Aukland, New Zealand, for a local pizza joint are pretty cleverly irreverent. They are sure to offend some, and amuse others. But is this a socially responsible move at this point in history, where the religious divide is becoming more and more polarizing in politics?
Not that I would want to actually stop anyone from gleefully offending in this way. It's their right, at least in some countries. But I am also a little uncomfortable with mocking people's most closely-held beliefs, even though the pizza nimbus is pretty chuckle-worthy.
I should add, though, that the Chapel Pizza ads are not nearly as tasteless as this gelato ad that got banned in the UK:
That one made news all over the place, which I suppose was the intent. But how does it make you feel about the brand?
There is a Canadian campaign from a few years ago, though, in which I feel irreverence was entirely well-placed. And that's because it was a campaign from a church that wanted to spark discussion about religious issues for their own sake.
For the United Church of Canada's online discussion site about faith and religion, this campaign challenged viewer's opinions about sexual mores, biblical literacy, religious symbols, social justice and more. Check out the whole campaign. It's fascinating.
Now, I am biased because the UCC is the church I grew up in. But I still think there's a big difference between challenging the sacred to sell pizza and ice cream, and challenging beliefs as an invitation to philosophical debate.
What do you think?