Xenu’s ghost! This year’s Scientology Super Bowl ad looks a lot like the others

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  1. RSS Feed

    RSS Feed RSS Feeder Bot

    There is a new post up at the Underground Bunker

    Xenu’s ghost! This year’s Scientology Super Bowl ad looks a lot like the others

    Here it is, tonight’s Super Bowl ad from the Church of Scientology, “Curiosity,” which will be airing in certain local markets around the country tonight.

    This year’s ad reverts to form after last year’s ad, “Curious?”, was something of a departure.

    This year’s spot is the usual slick mix of images and narration having nothing to [...]



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  2. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I listed the duration of each ad:

    2013 1.03
    2014 1.03
    2015 1.03
    2016 1.03
    2017 1.08
    2018 .30
    2019 .36

    Highly selective limited market distribution seems to be the most important cost saving measure but it looks like they have been economizing on the last two ads. This last one was so vague it reminded me of Jack Palance telling Billy Crystal about "that one thing" in City Slickers. If there wasn't that one .02 second flash of an e-meter and the Scientology.org thingy at the end it could be a commercial for a National Geographic special - this one being about America's own preeminent money grubbing gang stalking cult.

    I think they are in a creative rut. The soundtrack and imagery could all be edited into one 6 minute vid and we wouldn't know the difference.

    According to Scientology's own "Conditions of Existence - Ethics Formulas" they are behaving as though they are in trouble. When in Emergency you promote (read: pay millions for .30 - 1.08 second Superbowl ads) and economize (read: cut the ad time in half). But...if an Emergency Condition goes on too long then you are supposed to apply the lower condition of Danger (read: cut Superbowl ad time in half two years in a row).

    I don't believe in the Conditions Formulas and I recommend against using them but this is how they think. Not only is the Superbowl a crashed stat two years running but the content that makes even the slightest reference to Scientology is now at an irreducible minimum which implies they know it is a negative. Where are flashed images of their extensive and lavish real estate portfolio full of busy people traversing the marble halls, happy faces of well dressed Scientologists on course and holding e-meter cans, where are all the glitzy symbols that have been rehashed in art deco style? Are there any Scientologists in this ad? I don't think so because they have a bad habit of turning against Scientology and it's easier not to use them instead of disappearing old ads with vocal exes that have been declared Suppressive Persons.

    It seems the only thing they are really hoping for is that you only go to Scientology.org and the other top 10 Google results that they have paid to have on the top 10. They are spending a million bucks for click control. That, it seems, is the last great hope for planetary clearing.


    Having done that, one is now in a condition of Danger. This condition applies when an activity is in trouble. The formula is:

    Bypass (ignore the junior in charge of the activity and handle it personally).
    Handle the situation and any danger in it.
    Assign the area where it had to be handled a danger condition.
    Handle the personnel by ethics investigation.
    Reorganize the activity so that the situation will not repeat.
    Recommend any firm policy that will hereafter detect and/or prevent the condition from recurring.

    When the person has gotten his activity out of danger, he or she is then in a condition of Emergency, for which the formula is:

    Promote and produce.
    Change your operating basis.
    Then prepare to deliver.
    Stiffen discipline or stiffen ethics.
  3. Leland

    Leland Crusader

  4. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  5. screamer2

    screamer2 Idiot Bastardson

    The cult should just hold their own superbowl.
    I bet it would be super easy to convince them to do so.
    And it would be a huge hit with a vast audience.
    They could run adverts every few seconds.
    I'd watch it.
    Just for the laughs and especially the comments.
    It would develop a cult following.
    No pun intended.
  6. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    That would be the LRH Birthday Game - or to paraphrase Shakespeare "a stat push by any other name."
  7. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I think this Forbes article is telling. My sense is they are expressing disappointment that there wasn't more advocacy in the Super Bowl ads but in so doing they explain the mindset behind the shift from creative product marketing to advocacy marketing. Enter Scientology into a venue where people used to go to escape the intrusion of advocacy into every aspect of our lives. From the commentary I've been seeing this has become a serious issue. Advocacy is getting very oppressive and culty and now there it is right next to Scientology ads as though Scientology is lending it's stamp of approval to all this self-righteous and often hypocritical moralizing. All these advocacy ads are being positioned with Scientology and visa versa.

    So instead of piggybacking on the popularity of creative entertaining Super Bowl ads Scientology's millions invested in these ads is contributing to a backlash against them as being uncool in your face know-besty social justice warriors. But I don't think they can stop now. That would be perceived as failure. Maybe they can reduce ad distribution and only do the shortest ads but they are stuck investing in something that only reinforces a negative public opinion. That might explain why this year's ad was so subliminal and made so little reference to Scientology. They have to maintain a presence but they can't really be themselves.

    Another way to look at it is if all the ads were from religious or philosophical groups pushing their own doctrines about life and livingness. How weird would that be? Imagine NXIVM, Jehovas, Hari Krishnas, CAIR and a host of others all doing Super Bowl ads. Collectively Super Bowl ads would be considered pretty disturbing so I can see how Mr. Peanut wouldn't appreciate having to share the venue with this kind of thing - now up to 341k Views, 2471 Retweets, 10,300 Likes.


    In today’s commercial marketplace, social media is an active and tireless dialogue between brands and consumers, and companies have been forced to recognize that they can no longer tell consumers want to think, do, or buy. Instead, they need to ensure they are relevant and meaningful to consumers’ lives by positioning their company and products as representing the values they share. As such, marketing has shifted away from advertising in the traditional sense to advocacy and activism, with many tops brands playing leading roles in movements that address pressing cultural issues.
  8. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    It's a weird advertising shift alright.

    Calculated? Eh. Not really. As I once wrote, the Superbowl was an opportunity for the biggest, best and most creative marketing companies and advertisers in America to display their top ads and those commercials were often given awards. The Superbowl ads were examples of the best they had to offer and these award-winning ads often earned them more clients and funds.

    But television advertising is no longer the big industry it once was and there are so many competing advertising spaces through videos, Internet and other avenues that the entire industry has been diluted. There's just less money in television advertising to go around now, less money coming in from television advertising and more companies competing everywhere.

    So the quality went down, just like it has in the film industry because videos and Internet series are so big now.

    Instead of creative, independent ingenuity, we see the advertisers following one, single theme and lining up to that like ducks in a row.

    The SJW thing is already becoming a tired theme, but the advertising agencies are onto it now, so we won't hear the end of it until they drag it completely into the ground and find another follow the leader theme.

    COS hasn't changed much of anything from the ads it has had at the Superbowl since they first started, but it is possible the advertisers were all advised they should stay within that theme.

    Trying to sell to a marketing niche isn't new, but selling to a marketing niche on a Superbowl ad is, well, weird, because it would be unappealing to the majority of people watching the Superbowl. That's pretty culty, like you said.

    But I see it as short-lived, like a fad. I hope some sort of sincere efforts come from all this virtue-flagging, like some big recycling efforts and efforts to clean up the trash in the oceans. That would be really cool, but so far, none of these huge corporations or anyone else have stepped forward to do anything serious. So it's just more "look at me, I'm so great" BS.

    Don't we all see it as exactly that, though? So COS fits right in with that. Like it's fancy foil Christmas cards with an empty message inside, from an empty church that doesn't have or believe in God in the first place. All tinsel and show.

    The next few years will be very interesting.
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  9. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Absolutely. Legacy media is in serious trouble and Scientology has not made a successful transition to the digital format. They never had much success with the old format. They have too many secrets - they really can't say what they are and what they do to have much of an effective marketing footprint and mystery sandwiches only get you so far..."Curious". That's so bizarre. It's like they have become so unable to think with their own policies that instead of cleverly using some survey button to draw people in they actually say "Mystery Sandwich". Guys, what does Hubbard say about people who are too literal?

    Scientology's brand is already so damaged that I think these ads only draw further attention to why it is so damaged and there is no path back to a version of Scientology that isn't damaged because there never was one.
  10. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron


    This year's Super Bowl left something to be desired and the commercials were no exception. But when the well-known legume decided to become a Twitter critic of the Church of Scientology's creepy 30-second spot on Sunday, he found himself in more trouble than he anticipated.

    Planters had its own commercial featuring Alex Rodriguez and Charlie Sheen, but the company's spokes-peanut also appeared on Twitter, and when Scientology aired its ad, Mr. Peanut responded directly.

    Watching the @Scientology ad like... pic.twitter.com/iCnkfmTS8l
    — Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) February 4, 2019

    Scientology doesn't take kindly to critics, and social media users were quick to point out in their responses to the tweet that Mr. Peanut better watch his back — and probably his front lawn, as Scientology is known to dispatch private investigators to hunt down dirt on detractors, whom they label as SPs or "suppressive persons" (or, in this case, "suppressive peanut"), in a process known to Scientologists as "Fair Game."

    @LeahRemini Can they fair game a peanut?
  11. PirateAndBum

    PirateAndBum Gold Meritorious Patron

    Mr P, the Suppressive Peanut