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Marketing Tolerance Through Provocation

07/17/2009

One of my clients wanted to promote less religious certainty as a way of making religion less dangerous. His way of doing this is one of the best marketing ideas: provocation. What is this red-flag waving in front of a spiritual bull of internet rage?

Satan Wrote the Bible.

You’d be surprised at how angry this makes some people. The mere suggestion that Satan wrote the Bible makes them red faced and fork tongued with bile. Luckily, none of those angry people have let go of their rage on my friend’s site. In fact, the conversation is down-right civil over there at the Satan Blog, which has been getting more and more traffic lately, mostly through word of mouth (I haven’t been retained to promote the site on a regular basis).

The basic essay, which is a logical argument that is only slightly satirical, that Satan Wrote the Bible, is just a small part of the site. The Satan Bible Blog actually has a wide variety of Bible commentaries and religion essays written in the folksy style that Thomas D. is so gifted at. His most recent post, What is Heaven Like, includes some organic gardening humor that even black-thumbed indoors types will get a giggle out of.

This site and blog is a great example of how to spread your message through provocation. But, you folks actually selling a service or product might want to temper your temper tampering, so as not to provoke so much that you scare off the customer. Note that on the first page of Satan Wrote the Bible, Thomas D. says:

If you come here feeling anger at the notion anyone would have the audacity to claim that Satan wrote The Bible, I apologize. It is not my desire to cause anyone to feel negative emotions. If your neck is stiff or your shoulders are up around your ears, please take a moment to relax. Take a deep breath. Put a smile on your face even if you don’t at all feel like smiling. I hope that makes you feel a little better.

Right away he’s trying to settle down the fracas he’s sure he’s started for most people who might have stumbled across his site. One of the keyword phrases that we settled on is “Bible Commentaries.” Most people searching for Bible commentaries are probably not very receptive to the thought that Satan wrote the book they believe God wrote. So he’s immediately appealing for cooler heads by getting it out there that this is more of a thought experiment than a slap in the face to Christians. Smart. And effective.

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