New Amazon ad spot featuring an Imam and a Priest wants to inspire unity between different religions.
Although political forces may seem like they are trying to increase the divides between different religions, commercial companies are thinking of new ways of advertising that are bringing people together. Recently, CoverGirl included a Muslim fashion blogger and hijabi among its ambassadors for a new line of cosmetics, bringing Muslim hijab-wearing women to the mainstream cosmetics world.
This time, it wasn’t fashion that brought Muslims to advertising, it was health issues. A new ad released by Amazon shows two friends, a Muslim imam and an Episcopalian priest, having a chat and discussing how their religious duties have taken a toll on them and have caused knee problems.
John Verret, faculty advisor to the Boston University AdLab said, “I have no memory of a Muslim Cleric ever being used [in American advertising],” in all his 40 years in advertising. Although various clerics such as Catholic priests and nuns, rabbis, ministers and others have been seen in ads.
A lot of research and deliberation went into the making of the ad. The online retailer reached out for advice from the Muslim Council of Great Britain, the Christian Muslim Forum, and the Church of England.
The ad depicts a priest opening the door to his residence to his friend, an imam. The two friends sit and chat in his living room, both showing obvious signs of discomfort in the knees. They have some tea and laugh about their aches and pains. Later, they both receive a package from Amazon Prime, obviously sent from each other, identical sets of knee pads.
This is truly heartwarming https://t.co/udnP8rFmpz
— Shawerma Papi⁶? (@AshrafObay) November 18, 2016
The ad is sending positive messages to people from both communities, especially in America and UK, where Islamophobia is very high. The ad depicts how co-existing is possible between the two communities and reflects how under all the religious differences, both are simply people who have the same problems and issues in life.
The ad has been released in the UK, America and Germany as well. Although it was released in the U.S. after the election of Donald Trump, Simon Morris, the director of advertising at Amazon said, “We have gone to great lengths. It has taken us months to develop it. We wanted to do it well and be respectful to the religions who are featured in it.”