Proverbial Girlfriend doesn’t have video-producing capabilities, but thinks often about the way faith and/or femininity is presented in the media. Several existing media presentations have helped her form her wish list for commercials for our faith.
- This is a birth control pill commercial, which depicts women shopping in a store for the next big thing: car, house, Paris vacation, job…but no one wants the stork. The impression is that it is impossible for women to do both, but it is an appealing sort of condescension, as all the women have cute brightly colored clothes and the store with its goodies looks like any desirable boutique. While such a commercial is a fantasy…it works because the message recipients perceive that they are being validated in their choice and can aspire to one day “afford” the things.
- This and this are commercials that portray real individuals living out a grace filled life. PG gets the impression that these faiths are going to attract more spiritual-seekers because they play up the “positives.” Sure, they have rules and codes, but those will be palatable if congregants received their consolation first.
- Now consider the PR the Catholic stance on contraception gets. A New York Times report says Catholics are unhappy with Cardinal Dolan’s vociferous defense of the Church in its fight against the HHS mandate. While the Church leadership does have a right to be upset, its communication styles do little to actually preach and teach to the faithful. As necessary as they are, the declarations, proclamations, and ire don’t work in convicting people of the real truth because the message recipients perceive they are being scolded for their choice.
Imagine how many more people the Catholic Church could win over if its PR was positive. If it used real, beautiful women in cute clothes in brightly light scenes that sent the message to recipients that making the choice to not contracept, they can still have everything they desire? Of course, to “meet them where they’re at,” Proverbial Girlfriend has attempted to use the same visual devices as other commercials and address the most common fear of women nervous to go off the Pill – that they’ll end up with more kids than they can handle or that their choices/lives will be limited.
A professional woman, wearing a business suit, gathers papers from a boardroom and introduces herself as CFO, wife, and mother to 5 kids…all without birth control. Voice-over directs viewers to special Web site about the way to consider fertility within the context of the feminine genius.
A young college student, wearing modest, but still trendy clothes, is on a date night, and she introduces herself as graduating magna cum laude, in best relationship of her life with man who respects her (Scene of him dropping s her off at door with chaste kiss on the cheek)…all without birth control. Voice-over and text at bottom directs viewers to special Web site about the way to consider fertility within the context of the feminine genius.
Two married couples enter a happy church scene. One upper-30s wife is visibly pregnant, no other kids. She says something like: “After IVF failed, we sought out alternate teachings…and the NaPro doctor recommended me by my priest helped us conceive within a year!” The other wife then says, “and we have reasons to delay starting a family. I was nervous about going off hormonal birth control, but here we are, two years in and no kids yet…all without birth control!” Voice-over offers requisite warning, but says NFP methods can help couples both achieve and delay pregnancy.
A single woman is out with girlfriends, having drinks. A couple of them complain about problems with their birth control pills – they’re gaining weight, scared of the cancer risk, they feel out of whack, etc. One bemoans having to go off the Pill because she is at risk for blood clots, but she has PCOS and doesn’t want symptoms to resurface. Her Catholic friend comforts her… “I have the same problem. But I go to a doctor trained in NaPro procedures, and together we’re combating PCOS at the root of the problem. I feel better already, all without birth control!” Voice-over discusses how NaPro technology can diagnose and treat problems that BCPs mask.
A woman in her forties is in the grocery store. She has cart full of produce and packages that say “organic.” Her water bottle is labeled BPA-free. She says, “I don’t like putting hormones in my body that aren’t really needed. That’s why I go green with my family planning.” She picks up a box of fertility monitor strips. Her three kids run up to the cart. She is affectionate with them and closes the commercial with “And we’re just the right size…all without birth control!” Voice-over describes how different forms of fertility education can inform couples of benefits of NFP. Text at bottom includes Web site.
A couple is going to bed. The husband announces “We have a healthy sex life… without birth control.” A voice-over proclaims statistics of couples using NFP/FAM have same rate of relations as couples on artificial contraception.
A couple is doing fun, outdoorsy, slightly manly things (hiking, sports game, etc.). The attractive husband says “I love my wife more than anything. I’d be lost without her. That’s why awhile back when she had medical problems, we got really scared. It wasn’t until she got off the Pill that her new, NaPro doctor was able to figure out what was going on. She got treated, and now I’ve got my partner back.” Couple joins together in activity (wife climbing on rock with hand to husband, or cheering a play). Voice-over describes NaPro.