The remarkable Ariane Sherine is organising an atheist bus campaign, which has already generated loads of PR (just try Googling 'atheist bus campaign').

And she has already raised upwards of £50K to fund the execution you see above.

I've offered to help her out with some other ideas.

And I'm asking Scamp readers who are free of the God delusion to help out too.

Are you a Planner? Maybe you could contribute a cool strategy.

Creative? Write us an ad. Do it up in photoshop if you like, but a scamp is fine, or even just a headline. Obviously this isn't a BBH project and there's not going to be any money for anyone at any stage, but you'll get full credit.

You can make a suggestion in the comments on this post, or e-mail me something at simon dot veksner at bbh dot co uk.

Or go to a separate site I've set up called Advertising For Atheism, where I'll be putting up some of my and anyone else's ideas.

If a few of us get involved, I'm hoping the crowdsourcing thing could be really fun. Don't you think?

I've had a go at writing a brief, so here it is below, but if you want to suggest a better one, then feel free.

First presentation is on Wednesday.


Atheism Brief

BACKGROUND
Even in the 21st century, religion still has a big hold on people. Religious fanatics around the world kill thousands every year. Millions of people live in countries with oppressive faith-based regimes. Bishops get an automatic seat in the UK legislature. And state-funded ‘faith schools’ are allowed to discriminate in favour of religious pupils. Meanwhile, churches and evangelist groups (‘The Alpha Course’) are advertising for recruits. Where is the voice promoting rational, science-based atheism?

THE OPPORTUNITY
The British Humanist Association has raised over £50K to fund a campaign promoting atheism. The subject of our ads should probably be religious belief in general, rather than any religion in particular. But if you do mention a particular religion, it would seem to make most sense to reference Christianity, since this is by far the most widespread religion in the UK.

OBJECTIVES
Get PR. The campaign has already had great coverage in the media (try Googling ‘Atheist bus campaign’), and will hopefully get even more when we launch. An ad with real insight and bite will be more likely to get PR.

WHO ARE WE TRYING TO ENGAGE?
We’ll never reach the religious fanatics, and there’s no point talking to existing atheists. We should aim at the (very large) group in the middle – reasonable, intelligent people who were probably brought up with a bit of religion, and haven’t really questioned it since. We need to move their dial.

WHAT IS THE SINGLE THING WE WANT TO SAY?
There is no God.

SUPPORT
Fossils. Empirical science. The presence of ‘evil’ in the world contradicts the Christian notion of God as omnipotent and beneficient… more at RichardDawkins.net, especially the Debate Points section.

TONE
Plain and factual might work. But then again, nothing undermines more effectively than humour. It’s open.

MANDATORIES
1) Idea must be cheap to do
2) In terms of media, it would be good to do bus-sides because bus-sides have already been announced. But we could propose an alternative use of their money if we had a great idea for a different medium.
3) The ASA code says “Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.”

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