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Arizona Church Borrows Xbox Logo

February 16, 2006 by

We’ve received a few e-mails from folks pointing us to a postcard advertising a Phoenix-area church that’s raising some eyebrows in the gaming world, thanks to the design that’s, well, straight from Xbox.

The comments have been mostly negative from the gaming world, as you could expect with a design like this. We’ve talked about Christian imitations before and I think this is yet another example of why it’s better to come up with something original. There are still ways to play off what’s culturally relevant without completely ripping it off.

[We e-mailed the church for a comment on Tuesday evening and so far haven't heard anything.]

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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10 Responses to “Arizona Church Borrows Xbox Logo”

  • s. zeilenga
    February 16, 2006

    Well, I guess it all comes down to how many new people get interested in the church. I mean, I would risk a cease and decist letter from MS for a couple hundred people showing up at church and the whole gaming industry commenting on the flyer.
    Cheesy or not I would bet they see the card generate enough attention to justify doing it.


  • Brandon Meek
    February 16, 2006

    Oh boy, here we go again.
    I have gone on record, more than once, saying that I think this is a pretty weak idea for a church to be doing. As a consumer, I don’t want to be tricked – I don’t want to be fooled and I don’t think its cool when someone takes someone else’s work and appropriates it for their own use.
    I look at it this way; if I received an ad saying discount prices on computers and showed a G5, or an imac, and I got there and it was nothing but beige boxes, I wouldn’t be happy. I’m not saying that people see this and think if they show up they get an xbox, but I can’t understand why you would want to advertise in a way that makes someone think of something besides what your message actually is.
    If they just wanted the “familiar” feel, they should have dropped the logo, kept the background and the Life 360. I wouldn’t have nearly as many issues with that.
    I read through some of the threads on the gaming sites, and I think that gives us all the answers we need. You find people saying, oh great more cheese from the church, thieves, rip-off artists or worse.
    I guess it comes down to this. When I receive this card, does it make me say, “Oh, since they copied xbox, this must be a cool church so I think I’ll go”? For me, the answer is no.
    And can we please stop with the “Safe for the whole family”, “We love kids” and all the other junk copywriting that we see on these church cards and sites? Quit telling and start showing. Rant mode is nye upon me so I’ll shut up.


  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    February 16, 2006

    Scott, I think that’s a bold jump to make. Do the marketing ends justify the means? I don’t think so.
    For the hundreds of people that make it worth it to you, there’s probably a hundred more on those gamer sites who add it as one more reason Christians are lame and why they want nothing to do with God.


  • Sr. Mary Hasta
    February 16, 2006

    Ewwwwwww…
    Sorry, I’m a gamer (even to the point of going to PAX and E3) and that is sooo not the way to get the attention of gamers. Gamers tend to be the most jaded of the jaded, and can tell in a flash when they’re being marketed to (and hate it, you should have seen the furor over in-game advertising a few years ago).


  • aaron
    February 16, 2006

    The only rip off I’ve ever seen that I thought was cool was the church name at the top of the banner. Beneath the church name was that one eyed monster from Monsters Inc (http://www.filmha.com/pictures/monsters_inc/monsters_inc_pic_02.jpg) and then below the monster it just had the words “you won’t believe your eye” Perhaps it’s just my own twisted sence of humor but I thought it was hilarious.


  • Kyle
    February 16, 2006

    This stuff was one of many things that turned me off from Christianity years ago, and it today remains a thing that makes me disgusted with my fellow Christians over.
    Apart from the simple fact that we are blessed people, made in the image of God, and therefore are a creative people…
    Violating copyright/trademark laws just isn’t a good way to show Jesus to people.


  • ajmaonline.com
    February 22, 2006

    Life 360 – church marketing with Xbox 360 branding

    I bet this church didn’t expect to get as much exposure as it did. I think I found this first from…


  • Kurt Libby
    February 23, 2006

    I saw this over on engadget. They pretty much bawked at it. It is the exact opposite response that I think the church was trying to get out of it. You can check it out here.


  • Pastor Gary
    March 14, 2006

    I see once again the use of worldy symbols to speak of Godly things. Shame on us when we seek the ok of the world for Gods church.Who created the man who created x-box.Yeah God


  • David
    March 26, 2006

    Having been part of implementing a “XBook 365″ and a “Vista” themed series, I have to say that it probably comes a cross as ho-hum at best/worst. Even though we are in Microsoft’s backyard, we haven’t had any trouble.
    XBook doesn’t attract gamers, but it does make the adults think we’re cool/hip/on the edge. Linking to Vista – a delayed product – has it’s own peculiarities.



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