It is a chilly December evening in New York’s Times Square with no time for dawdling in the cold, but you just can’t help it. There amidst the bold, bright lights of the largest ads in the world is one that stands out from the rest. It is the boldest announcement of them all–#A Savior is Born.
It stands out because it is unlike any other announcement in that visually noisy place. Not an ad for a Broadway show or a new product to make you cool, it is the profound message of the ages. It says there is more to this life than the flash of the moment and every heartache can be met with divine consolation.
In the last couple of years, the LDS Church has launched three multi-media campaigns to send its message to the world—two at Easter and one at Christmas which together have touched over 70 million people on social media and many beyond.
The Church has launched this year’s Christmas campaign with the theme “A Savior is Born.” As with each of the other campaigns, this is multi-faceted with parts and pieces that each of us can be a part of. Access the site at Christmas.mormon.org .
Greg Droubay, the Director of Media for the missionary department, said, “We’ve been really pleased with these initiatives. We have truly reached a worldwide audience in 220 countries and territories. The reaction has been just what we hoped. Members have been energized and willing to share. We’ve had a very positive reaction from those who are not members of the Church. We’ve seen an increase of people coming to Mormon.org to chat with missionaries.
“Media plays a critical part in missionary work. Our ability to reach a worldwide audience is unprecedented, not available to earlier generations. More and more missionaries have access to technology in their day-to-day work and carry digital devices. We are trying to create content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms so that members can find content they like and are willing to share with their circle of friends.”
He tells of being in an obscure location in a nation far away filming a sheep. While the shepherd waited, he laid down on his back in the lonely field and accessed his mobile device.
“The central message of this whole initiative,” he said, “is trying to reaffirm and establish in the minds of all God’s children his love for them and how important the birth of Savior is for us today. This life holds so much hurt, pain, death and at times heartache. God sent a Savior to help us in those very moments. Certainly in the world we live in today, we need to have a deepening appreciation for the reality that a Savior was born.”
Droubay said, “Certainly as more technology is available, we want to use it to take the gospel to all the world. As a missionary department we hearken back to the initiative given to us by Elder David A. Bednar that we need to sweep the world as with a flood.
A Website with Tools
At Christmas.mormon.org, find tools so that you also share some of these things with your friends on social media. Some of this material will be available in 29 languages. Here’s what’s on the website and what’s part of the initiative.
A Savior is Born two-minute video speaking of the importance of Christ through the words of children, whose light-filled faces are international. You can share this on social media.
A World without a Savior animation which speaks of why in this weary world we need a Savior so much. The animation has a sophisticated look, which especially appealed to the young adults with whom we previewed it. You can share this on social media.
Worldwide Internet and Social Media Messaging and Advertising: You’ll undoubtedly see ads from this campaign showing up on the Internet as you search.
Outdoor Advertising: Inspiring messages, sometimes on billboards, will appear in New York City and especially in Times Square. They will also be posted near temples in Los Angeles, St. George, Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City, and Mexico City.
Beginning November 29 and running until Jan. 3, approximately 400 taxis will be topped with message of inspiration around New York City.
They will say:
#A Savior is Born
Peace is born
Hope is born
Joy is born
Love is born
Print and Share Messages: On the website are special pages that can be printed off.
Then you add your own personalized message and share it on your social media.
Widgets that give the message “A Savior is Born” that you can add to your own blogs and Facebook pages.
#A Savior is Born Pass-along Cards to invite others to learn more about the birth of Jesus Christ.
GIFs that go along with the campaign will be available for downloading and posting during the season.
Promotion of #A Savior is Born in some LDS Visitor’s Centers.
Articles in Church Magazines so you can learn more about the Savior and this special initiative from the LDS Church.
Email Communications to Subscribers to the Christmas.lds.org website.
YouTube Masthead on Dec. 10 in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
WiFi Access to YouTube in all LDS Church meetinghouses during the campaign.
Reminder: as you share these resources on social media don’t forget to use the hashtag #. Share it as #ASaviorisBorn .
Twelve of the most popular YouTube celebrities with followings that are more than 30 million are joining in with this campaign. They include Jenny Oaks Baker, David Archuleta, Devin Graham (Supertramp), Lindsay Stirling, Stuart Edge, Studio C, Peter Hollens, Tiffany Alvord, the Gardner Sisters, Alex Boye and Kid History.
Each of these twelve will release a Christmas video of their own on their own YouTube channels each of the first twelve days of Christmas. These videos will end with the YouTube celebrity pointing their audience to this Christmas campaign and the videos that accompany it.
They are inviting their 30 million followers to remember #A Savior is Born this Christmas. The rest of us can do it too.
Purposes of the Campaign
These broad campaign is designed with three purposes.
So that we can share with the world our witness that the Savior of mankind was born and of the importance of his life and mission.
To provide more teaching opportunities for missionaries.
To provide Church members with content they are willing to share.
Let’s just do it. Let’s share it.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “The world needs a Savior. All people need to be cleansed from the effects of sin and to return to the presence of God. Jesus Christ is the Light and Life of the World. This Christmas season, each of us will have many opportunities to proclaim our belief in Him to friends and neighbors, fellow workers, and casual acquaintances. I hope we will take these opportunities to express our love for Him, to bear our witness of His divine mission, and tgo renew our determination to serve Him.”