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Ad Campaign
Bobblehead Jesus

This tongue-in-cheek ad depicts two different ways one could interpret a simple – albeit unusual – display of faith. And it invites you to share your choice.


FoolishKnight's picture



This is one of the funniest ads I've ever seen. Where can I buy a Jesus Bobblehead, I want one for my dashboard.

godlovesya's picture



I love it! I think it's an awesome way to spread the Christian faith.

Cammy's picture



Although a little irreverant. It makes Jesus look like a very "Human" human being with a sense of humour which I am sure got lost in the various stories from the bible that we have been brought up on. Life can be very difficult and to think that our supreme authority figure has a sense of humour can lift the gloom from which we serious souls are forever trapped.

asdfdocomo's picture



What? Ticket to hell?

We're trying to be seeker-friendly, aren't we? Trying to attract and not repel people, right?

It reads like there are only two options:
a. Find irreverrant humour funny, but go to hell
b. Be humourless, dry, stif, and serious, but be saved from hell.

It reinforces stereotypes of intolerance and humourlessness in Christians. How is that going to draw anyone in? Could we have done no better on the taglines?

"Yo Quiero Jesus"

the image is cool and has so much good potential for provoking discussion, this feels a waste.

Roedy's picture



You are making a mockery of your own church. Don't you recall that song "Long as I got my plastic Jesus". You are aligning your church with the sister-marrying parodies of Christianity from the American south.

This is the sort of thing that makes people spit on brain-damaged Christians.

You are inviting contempt.

"Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in
modern society. We are fools for Christ's sake. We must pray
for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world."
~ Antonin Scalia, adding that the word cretin is derived
from the French word for Christian, in a speech at the
Mississippi College School of Law (April 9, 1996), quoted
from Dr. James Dobson, "Was America a Christian Nation?"

MonAsksIt's picture



I think it's great! Let's think outside the box when it comes to our spiritual journeys, and this picture makes me think about just that. Commercialization of spiritual values is not where I'm at, and I like to think that Jesus had a sense of humor too.

sunshinedf's picture


image there a matching buddha too

alanp's picture



I like to think that our God has a sense of humour.

Sukie's picture



For those of you wondering if they are commercially available, the answer is yes. I purchased one for a friend who was being ordained in the Anglican church. There are other action figures in the series, including Jesus performing the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and turning water into wine.

On a slightly different note...I am a minister in the target age range. I find this ad, and the one with the baby, to be spot on. When I first saw this, I laughed so hard I almost cried. My mother, on the other hand, was less impressed, and has strong reservations about what the church is doing.

My concern then becomes one of how do I minister to those who might enter my doors because of this as well as those who are already there? The ads and exposure are a good idea, but have we thought it all through?

cedar's picture



I must be missing something as I don't get it!
How does seeing a plastic image (go to just about any RC church to see holy images in plastic) lead us to a choice between laughing at some unspecified joke and going to hell? How about looking at it as an admittedly kitchy declaration that the owner is a Christian?

Johnjoseph's picture



It is about time we plunged into the 21st century with Add campaigns
In each milestone of Christian Faith we crossed many bridges over dozens of troubled waters. The time is ripe to grasp firmly and reach beyond on protestant sensibilities of Oak pews from Ages past with new dreams for years to come.

Words of William Law

Nothing hath separated us from God but our own will, or rather our own will is our separation from God.

ferdy's picture



Hey Roedy, your comment smacks of the sort of hate that interferes with a free discussion of ideas. When you say things like, "sister-marrying parodies of Christianity from the American south" you turn people off and drive away those who may be looking for a credible forum.

turk's picture



Bottom line - this ad was created to get people talking - obviously it's working.
Reflecting, and ultimately having an opinion is a mission accomplished. I don't feel we take enough time in our hectic lives to think beyond every-day/every-hour events. These ads made me stop and think about spirtuality - even if only for a minute, that's more than I was thinking about it prior.

Good job!

PoMoXian's picture



I think its great! The church could use a little more humour...

Mom2Four's picture



I found this rather funny. And provocative. And opening right into a discussion. A discussion that has moved into the Letters to the Editor in the Globe and Mail, the Star soon to follow I'm sure. Ticket to hell? To some, yes. Displaying Jesus as a bobblehead would amount to blasphemy. And yet, we put a lot of our heros on bobblehead dolls.

apologia's picture


image me this seems like a waste of time...spending millions on an ad that really says nothing. What are the options again? ticket to hell or funny. What if I just find it stupid, and rather irreverent. Does that mean I'm a closeminded Christian? It seems as though all other faiths take their religious symbols seriously and things like (gasp) cartoons are the impetus for mad riots in the streets. Why is it that the Christian symbol can be treated in such a jocular way. I don't think this is "ticket to hell" material, but I do question our willingness to defend this silly image of Jesus.

teragram's picture



About the whole site, what I object to is the slickness, copying the bright, shallow ads we see on TV. Is this any better than the image of stuffiness the UC so fears? Cute little squirrels frisking around, commenting on deep religious questions with a "yes" or "no" may be tongue-in-cheek, but it strikes me as superficial and downright silly. We've overshot the mark here, people, and I am afraid we're going to pay for it. If you're trying to attract the 30 - 45 year old "market" (and that's what this looks like to me: a marketing ploy), it's not going to work. The squirrel might appeal to the 5-year-old set, but they'd take it literally and believe deep spiritual questions can be answered "yes" or "no" (and by a cute rodent, no less).

As for the bobblehead doll, didn't we used to revere the Head and Heart of our church? Since when is a plastic doll reverent? It's silly. Some people applaud this silliness and laugh heartily. But Jesus was never meant to be a figure of fun. We're losing our dignity here, and this can only hurt our membership. Those who do respond will be just as shallow as the ads on this site.

This whole thing strikes me as a way to round up people and herd them into church with cute slogans and catchy devices. If it does work, I don't want to be any part of the flock that results.

bellarinn's picture



I want one!

Of course God has a sense of humor. Just look at Sloths, Plattapus, Guinea Pigs, Humans....I could go on forever.

godmeows's picture



I love the ads. They tap into the ironic sense of humour that so many people relate to today. I don't think the intention is to herd people into the church. I think the intention is just to be relevant. The church needs to bring value to people's lives, and it is striving to reach out to those who are legitimately turned off by organized religion, trying to give people something that is meaningful. It may bring people into the church, and it may not. This is not the point. This point is just to have an impact and give people an avenue to challenge and consider spiritual, emotional and intellectual issues.

It's shaking things up and making people laugh. Both are much needed outcomes.

caedmon's picture



I laughed when I saw the bobblehead Jesus. I want one for my truck. I do believe that God has a sense of humor and there is nothing wrong with a smiling Jesus bobblehead joyfully bobbling its head at you as you travel down the highway.

Maybe if everyone had a picture of Jesus staring at them while driving, there might be a little less road rage.

heartagram's picture



I believe that a bobble-head Jesus is a great idea depending on the person who bought it and their interpretation of the item. If someone simply wants to display their faith in a way that can be accepted by more than just Christians then it's fine. However, you will always have people who interpret it as sacrilegious and they may buy it to display because they believe it will offend people of faith. I don't think it's a matter of the product here, I think that we should be looking at the buyer and their intentions.

tiebos's picture



To Apologia,
Your comments confuse me because I think the ad is perfectly clear - at least to me.

To me the ad says that you're welcome to think "ticket to hell" OR "funny."

It's offering up the very thing some posts on this discussion are discouraging - freedom to explore and comment. Why not jump on the band wagon and be inclusive of others?

We may not agree but at least it's how Jesus would have done it. Or is your Jesus different from mine?

Trinitymike's picture



I think it would be great to have a bobble head Jesus. My Jewish Scholarship prof, a respected Talmudic Scholar, has a bobble head
Rashi(Rashi is one of the greatest Talmudic Scholars ever, the Mozart of Scholarship)
And people laugh and think, it's great that he can bring a sense of humour into a serious discussion.....Jesus would laugh at it, I think. He'd be a great, human teacher and realise that you don't have to be serious to discuss serious things...

Kent's picture



Ad is great. I too want a bobblehead Jesus.
No idea about these sites, but a google search found: and

Saudade81's picture



Anyone can interpret it as they wish. No harm done, in my opinion. :) Jesus is cool!

jolene42's picture



Being a Christian from the American South, I rather resent the generalization Roedy or whoever made about marrying sisters or brothers here. Very little of that goes on these days.

I think there should have been a third choice on the ad. "Someone to talk to"

I want one for my dashboard for those long solo trips to visit my parents in the hillbilly haven of East Tennessee.

Bill Vollrath's picture

Bill Vollrath


It is niether funny nor is it a ticket to hell. It's a simple reminder that Jesus is always with you. Perfect for the dash of the car and certainly something that will open doors to discuss faith issues with your passengers. Get one! Use it! No, I don't want a job with the advertising company that designed it! LOL

jb's picture





"This whole thing strikes me as a way to round up people and herd them into church with cute slogans and catchy devices. If it does work, I don't want to be any part of the flock that results."

And what do you call the parables Jesus told? The parables were meant as a way to make God's message clear, understandable, and memorable. So do you suggest they weren't "catchy"?

HeidiWholeness's picture



I want one too! I also love the Jesus action figures, they sell them in a store near my place. I think people get too caught up in the ridiculous. Burn in Hell for having a Bobble Headed Jesus on your dashboard? If that's all it takes., if thats what the standard is.....we are all going to hell! I remember when my former church decided to switch from oak pews to padded chairs......those of us who voted yes for the comfortable chairs were going to hell.....and then, when the carpet was replaced......more sin! What a waste of God's time. Lighten up!

Sophie's picture



On the discussion for one of the ads, I saw someon mentioning that the United Church should be spenidng their money on helping people, not advertising. And the same message was reflected in a letter the editor of the Globe.

Let's suppose teh UC believes they do help people, and that they play a vital role in fighting social injustices and improving people's lives. If the church's number continue to dwindle down to nothing in the coming decades, it'll be kind of hard to do the good work they feel they can do.

So making an effort to build up 'the flock', and assure a healthier UC than can continue doing it's good work in the future - that seems like a logical place to start. At least they're thinking long-term, rather than the sorts of band-aid 'throw money at a problem today and hope it goes away' approach that too many organizations use. (the government with native issues, for example.)

Whether you agree or disagree with the advertising, this site, or any other means by which they go about this - well, that's a whole other debate.

mammas's picture



I want one of these - I just posted it on my blog so I can be just like my kids and say - buy me one, buy me one - maybe santa will bring it this Christmas. The basis of my faith is God is Love and you can't love without a sense of humour.

jgerrie's picture



If one can't poke fun at one's faith, can one really be said to have faith?

Hillingford's picture



There needs to be a third box to check, "$9.95 on eBay".

Matt81's picture



My son gave me a "homie Jesus" years ago that sits atop my computer monitor or on a bulletin board, held in place by sticky tack. He's in a robe, got sunglasses on and giving the thumbs up sign. And people are offended by the bobble-head. Sigh!

smartwatch3's picture



No offense but we are not looking at the bigger picture. This campaign is not just about gay marriage, evryone is getting caught up on the idea. Dont get me wrong what people do with there own love life is fine. I find the whole add campaign a sick and twisted view on religion. I feel that the 10.5 million dollars could have been spent better than a few adds that provoke negative disscussion. The chruch has accomplished its goal isnpromoting discussion but not the kinda of discussion it was looking for.

By the way if you want to see a real jesus bobble head Kevin Smith made a parody of it years ago in Dogma. He called it Buddy Jesus part of the Catholicism Now campaign. Maybe the United church could have found a better advisor than Kevin Smith.

How many of you have actually read the bible???
Done and Done...

canada_gal's picture



I find it amazing that just being presented with an ad that indicates an openness for discussion creates such animosity in people. Why can't we discuss what our faith means to us and find out what faith means to others? I left the church of my childhood because I could not reconcile how I saw God with what was presented each Sunday - I found a home again in the United Church because I could ask questions. My question about homosexuality is not whether or not it is a sin but what gives mere humans the idea that they can determine God's response? And it you quote scripture - how many other "rules" are not being followed any more? Why aren't people condemned as much for not following those rules?

Gillian's picture



I'm a "former" Anglican, and have worked in the United Church of Canada as a Director of music for about 30 years. I am FIERCELY proud of the United Church and their courage to be forward thinking. This church has the courage to say what needs to be said, and speak out LOUDLY for the oppressed and minimalized people in our communities. I am proud to be a member and work in the United Church of Canada.

un_171106080446's picture



As a mother of children in this age group, I am not sure this way of advertising our church will draw my children back to going to church every Sunday. I am so pleased that my children are kind and caring members of society, their going to church is not a big deal for me! I am happy that my granddaughters are part of a church choir, and I commend the church that welcomed into this ministry.

pog's picture



Hey Greg - that is a defeatist attitude! Why are you predicting failure? Just keep posting, find interesting things to talk about and the site will continue to thrive. I think wondercafe is great. I have lots to talk about and I'll keep coming back for more!
Thank you!

One Human Being's picture

One Human Being



Thanks for your response! I'm sure that hell is the absence of God. Sometimes we have a foretaste of it in our current lives but eternal death will be much more stark. C. S. Lewis gave a metaphorical description of it in his book "The Great Divorce". One of his main points isn't that God sends people to hell but that some people choose the shadowy misty world of life apart from God because they can't stand the brilliant reality of life with God.

Jesus talked a fair amount about hell. I can't really understand his death on the cross unless he undertook it to save us from hell.

serv44's picture



I think it's great. There's a song about having a plastic statue of Jesus on the dashboard and the central message is that it reminds us that He's there watching what's coming ahead for us, because He already knows where we've been.

nufzed's picture



ticket to hell? I don't get it

Duff's picture



This add reminds me of a John Greenwood song of the late 1970s.

That song challenged the idea that all will be forgiven, so it doesn't matter what you do now. The chorus went something like, "I can do what I pleases, cause I got my plastic Jesus on the dashboard of my car. ......"

If you want a reminder to have a personal relationship with God, all the time, by all means use your dashboard. If you want a lucky token, get some other token.

Loulou's picture



People at church today were talking about the bobbleheaded Jesus. People of all ages, though the older ones generally found it in poor taste. The thing is, though, that it's got people talking - talking about why it matters, and talking about what things mean to them. This is just what the ad campaign intended. I sure appreciate the discussions sparked by all this. Way to go!
The other thing that had people talking was the 10.5 million dollars, but once they found out that it was for a 3-year campaign, and included about half being spent on congregational training events, and that the funds were not being taken away from the many mission projects that are so important, people felt significantly better, and agreed that it's important to try something new and different to reach out to people who aren't in the pews. Way to go!

nipper's picture



To Teragram....I couldn't have said it better.It seems to me $10 mil could have been better spent in aiding others(what it was collected for),not to set up an ad campaign. I am proud to be a member of the Unitd Church because we are an open church and accept all,but with these ads it seems we are maiking a farce of our beliefs.They could cause our devoted members over 45 to leave our church, so what would we have gained.

Gillian's picture



Hey Sukie,
WHERE do I find one??? I'm a Director of Music in the United Church- every year my choir gives me a Christmas gift - I would LOVE a Bobblehead Jesus. Can you help me??

eileen's picture




misterright's picture



What has been forgotten in this cheap act of desparation is this-The object of God's Word is to try to bring man up to the exalted thoughts of God and the faithful prophets and apostles who labored so hard and even died to honor Him. What this ad campaign does is demean Christ by dragging Him down to the level of a cereal box or an inconsequantial toy designed for fools and retards. It's sort of like those plastic birds that continously dip their beaks into a glass of water,a meaningless motion repeated over and over.
Ironically it is more representative of the UCC than Christ,as the UCC constantly nods its head in acceptance of every popular movement no matter how far away from true Chrisianity, no matter how debased or how faddish it is .It is the constant prayer of this apostate church"Oh Lord, please show me where The People are going so that I may lead them there."
The UCC will continue to decline. Why bother with supporting a church when one can just join the NDP,or some enviromental group or the Green Party? The UCC has all the spiritual acumen of the U.S. Democrat Howard Dean who actually quit his church in an argument over a bicycle path. I am not making this up.
And as I said in another discussion, the easy answer squirrel is just the ironic equivalent of the snake used by Satan to mislead Eve into rebellion against God. This "easy answer" on homosex, for example, leads not to the Kingdom of God, but to the Kingdom of Caligula, the Pagan empire that Paul condemned for its vile practices. The Roman writers like Tacitus and excavations at Pompeii and Herculanium give ample evidence of the pornographic filth that was "celebrated" and common then. Excavations in Israel have never unearthed such material,other than Pagan statues like Artemis or some such. The UCC's bobble-headed embrace of Pagan standards proves "the dog has returned to its' vomit and the pig that was washed has returned to rolling in the mire."

Kenn Chaplin's picture

Kenn Chaplin


Rex Murphy gave this ad lots of free publicity with his rant in both the Globe and Mail and on the National. Thanks Rex! (BTW, Rex, the ad campaign is not aimed at your generation nor lighten up and enjoy the conversation!)

pog's picture



Hey Nipper and Eileen - with all due respect - you don't get it.

The UCC needs to revialize itself, right (like all mainstream Christian denominations do)? The idea of this campaign is so obvious and brilliant - don't just tell people the UCC is all about open minded discussion and dialogue (because they probably won't believe us because people who don't currently go to church are generally suspicious of organized religion) OR the campaign could actually SHOW people that's what UCC stands for. These ads are provocative and powerful and they have gotten people talking. Don't you think that was the whole point?

Without a strong church, how could we possibly reach out to those in the world who need our help? This will make the church stronger and better.