Was there really a Hipster Jesus?

Catholic Diocese reaches out to hipsters with new ad campaign

April 24, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is getting a lot of attention with its new ad campaign promoting Jesus as a non-conformist type of guy who bucks authority.

If Jesus Christ were alive today, would he be a latte-sipping hipster poet able to spot cool trends before anyone else does? Would he be living in Williamsburg? Who knows? 

The ads, which have started appearing on billboards and bus shelters all over Brooklyn and Queens (the diocese covers both boroughs), depicts Christ wearing Converse sneakers under his robe. The slogan reads “The original hipster.” Beneath the slogan are the words “All faces. Everyday understanding.” 

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The ad campaign is aimed at attracting more people to attend Mass on Sunday.

“The ads are creative, funny, and suggestive of the renewed and relatable atmosphere you can find at one of the more than 230 churches in Brooklyn and Queens,” according to a press release issued by the diocese. 

The ad campaign “is geared towards reaching a younger, more diverse demographic by showing the cooler and more welcoming side of the Catholic Church,” the press release states.

On a recent “Saturday Night Live,” Seth Meyers poked fun in his ‘Weekend Update” segment depicting Pope Francis I wearing Converse’s “Chuck Taylor” sneakers. Meyers joked that the Pope’s footwear was the reason why more Catholics are returning to church.

The diocese is said to be thrilled that SNL helped spread its message.

“If you have faith there is never a need to take yourself too seriously; life is so much easier when you have a sense of humor,” said the Rev. Msgr. Kieran Harrington, vicar of communications for the diocese.

“Sure we are poking fun at ourselves, but also making clear that in Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens everyone is welcome,” Harrington said of the ad campaign.


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