the new mission model – pay for fans

LDS Inc. has signed on with to buy Facebook fans and Youtube hits. Now I know why 600,000+ people have watched some of the stuff in the MormonMessage’s Youtube channel: the Mormon Church is paying to make it happen. This almost seems like a genius, albeit superficial, marketing approach – buy hits to make it seem like people find you interesting in the hopes of people actually finding you interesting. How sad… 🙁


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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11 Responses

  1. Chino Blanco says:

    Funny footnote … back during the Big Love brouhaha over the temple ceremony dramatization, amidst all the Mormon hand-wringing, COB’s media mavens were busy milking the controversy with online buys.

    Same thing happened during the Question One campaign in Maine. All kinds of online LDS media buys were happening, targeting readers of online Maine news outlets.

    Anyways, I agree. It’s sad.

    But like their #1 pollster is telling them, at this point, they need any “buzz” they can get … even negative buzz.

    Or do they? Maybe what they really need to do is fire pollsters like Gary Lawrence and use those vast resources to ramp up delivery of a better product.

  2. Hellmut says:

    My favorite clothier told his sons: :”We don’t need ads out there. We need ads in here,” pointing to their store.

    If you can’t meet, or better yet exceed, your customers’ expectations then attracting more people with commercials will only damage your reputation.

    You won’t be able to hold your clients. Instead, you are creating a lot of dissatisfied customers who will leave, at best, with a mixed view of all things Mormon.

    May be, it’s just me but the social life in Mormon wards seems to have been more vibrant in the past. Since the advent of correlation, it’s been going downhill every year.

  3. Mike says:

    To be fair, the article mentions other services for sale by, and doesn’t specify that the church is buying youtube hits. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what they’re purchasing, but it might be one of the other, unnamed services.

    It reminds me of another one of your “favorite” religions. Many years ago (20? 30?) Scientology was found to have purchased copies of L Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics” from bookstores in order to inflate its sales figures. It seems as though there’s nothing quite like buying interest in order to increase interest. 🙂 Maybe Calvin Grondahl was right when he titled one of his books, “Marketing Precedes the Miracle.”

  4. Mike says:

    OK, I just looked at the The other services include things like promoting on Digg or Reddit. Not much different at all. Marketing does precede the miracle, it seems.

  5. profxm says:

    “Marketing Precedes the Miracle”… I’m going to have to title a paper that at some point. Too funny!

  6. Hellmut says:

    That title is too funny, Mike. Is Grondahl’s book any good?

  7. Kinda funny. Mostly sad. So are they behind the annoying Mormon Facebook fan pages?

  8. Goldarn says:

    I have “Marketing Precedes the Miracle.” There are some great comics in there.

  9. profxm says:

    FYI, LDS Inc. has just issued a press release saying they are not a client of

    So, is a subsidiary a client, or do they really have nothing to do with them? And why would usocial claim that they are?

  10. Chino Blanco says:

    Interesting. Whether or not LDS Inc. is using, the articles below certainly read like PR-driven “reporting”:

    Mormon Messages on YouTube gaining in popularity
    Dated: April 2, 2010
    Byline: Jamie Lampros (Standard-Examiner)

    LDS messages on YouTube gaining popularity
    Dated: April 2, 2010
    Byline: Mary Richards (KSL)

    Welcome to the fun house that passes for “journalism” these days.

  11. Chino Blanco says:

    I was beginning to feel like a dork for suggesting that folks post this to Facebook and Twitter: Gay Rights Revelation added to the D&C

    But then I stumbled onto this: The Book of Mormon/YouTube Challenge


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