For Sunday, March 18, 2012
4th Sunday of Lent
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
For the Scrutinies:
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
The GEICO gecko is ubiquitous. With his faux English accent and understated approach to life, he has made GEICO a household name in car insurance. What began as a business selling auto insurance directly to federal civilian employees (Government Employees Insurance COmpany) grew to a company that makes its pitch directly to consumers nationwide. Its business model eliminates the agent and utilizes direct-to-consumer sales in a way that GEICO says saves money, much of which it plows back into advertising across media platforms.
When the gecko first appeared in GEICO advertising in 1999, he was a replacement for live actors who were on strike. The job action by members of the Screen Actors Guild launched the gecko with the first ads that played off the supposed confusion between the name GEICO and the word gecko. In those early ads the gecko fended off phone calls from people who were supposedly trying to call GEICO for insurance and instead got the gecko's number. Today GEICO uses the gecko in a variety of ways from standard television and print advertising, to blogs, Facebook (nearly a quarter million friends), and tweets in a series that has him traveling across America to save people money on car insurance. For the gecko-addicted, the ads are available on YouTube for anytime viewing.
While the gecko commercials are clever, it is the tagline that closes the sale. "Fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance," reels people in to call or go online to get a quote. As omnipresent as the gecko is, he doesn't appear in every GEICO commercial. There are plenty of ad buys without him. But the tagline is always there, reinforcing the company's mantra that if you just give them fifteen minutes you'll be able to save a lot.
Church people aren't as stellar in the marketing world. Advertising efforts, even well-thought out and coherent ones like the well-designed "Catholic Come Home" campaigns enacted in several dioceses, just don't have the pizzazz that billion dollar campaigns can attain. (It's rumored GEICO spent nearly three-quarters of a billion in 2010.)
Christians would rather spend their dollars on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and healing the sick, than on slick ad buys.
But the GEICO tag-ine might be something we want to use for ourselves this Lent (or at least the first half of it). "Fifteen minutes could save you..." offers a lot of possibilities as we prepare for Easter. What spiritual endeavors could we undertake for fifteen minutes every day? Fifteen minutes of Bible reading? Or fifteen minutes of prayer? What about fifteen minutes on the phone with a shut-in? Or fifteen minutes writing in a spiritual journal? Maybe we collect all the fifteen minutes of a week: that's almost two hours to help at a meal program or use to assist the poor through the parish St. Vincent de Paul Conference. During Lent one could use fifteen minutes to celebrate the sacrament of penance.
It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination, just a desire to make a commitment, to realize that fifteen minutes could save you!
you sent your Son into this world
to save those who believe in him.
Strengthen our faith through our Lenten observance
that we may always live by your commands
and come at last to the joys of heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
POPE BENEDICT'S TRIP TO CUBA & MEXICO—March 23–29
The Holy Father will make a pilgrimage to Cuba and Mexico beginning on Friday, March 23. The Vatican has prepared a special Web page on its site for the event, which will include a live television feed on the Web from the Vatican Television Center. Encourage parishioners to follow the Holy Father's trip by publicizing the link in your parish bulletin and on your parish web site. You'll find it at: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/travels/2012/index_messico-cuba_en.htm (English) and www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/travels/2012/index_messico-cuba_sp.htm (Spanish).
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES COLLECTION
Many dioceses will take up the annual Catholic Relief Services Collection on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 18, 2012. A vast array of resources for use by parishes is available on the USCCB website at: http://usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/catholic-relief-services-collection/.
2012 CATHOLIC PARISH WEB SITE OF THE YEAR
Would you like $500 for your parish? Is your parish website informative and attractive? Enter the 2012 Catholic Parish Website of the Year Contest sponsored by LPi and the Catholic Tech Talk Blog. Check out the entry details at: http://catholictechtalk.com/contests/?doing_wp_cron=1329193377.
|< Prev||Next >|