What Is The Actual PRODUCT Being Sold By Jehovah's Witnesses?
By Terry Walstrom(JWN)
Madison Avenue became famous for selling the sizzle rather than the steak.
The point of advertising was to create an appetite for a PRODUCT.
Sometimes, in order to create desire for the product, advertising consisted of imposing an embedded FEAR that could only be resolved by purchasing the solution: the PRODUCT.
Four Hundred and twelve Billion dollars annually is spent on Advertising in the U.S. ($412 Billion)
If Advertising were not effective we might ask why so much is spent doing it.
Planting an idea of a need that can be filled is core.
Imbedding fear of an outcome that may be resolved through a particular Product is prevalent.
Creating a need and then filling it is foundational.
The question I'd like to focus in on is this: What is the actual PRODUCT being sold by Jehovah's Witnesses?
When J.F.Rutherford was released from Atlanta penitentiary Rutherford announced that on Sunday, May 4, 1919 he would lecture in Clune's Auditorium on Fifth and Olive Streets in Los Angeles.
A.H. McMillan wrote in the book FAITH ON THE MARCH:
The advertised subject of his talk was: "The Hope for Distressed Humanity." Newspaper advertising called attention to our illegal conviction with the promise that the reasons for it would be explained. That was the test case. If nobody came to that meeting, we were done.
1500 people are reported to have shown up to hear what Rutherford said the following Monday.
Bolstered by the interest of others, Judge Rutherford came up with a plan to create a new magazine that would be published twice monthly alongside the Watchtower: The Golden Age.
Two things are noteworthy here.
The Watchtower had been the creation of Pastor Russell centered on promoting the date 1914 as the end of religion, government, civilization and such at Armageddon and the rapture of the saints to heaven. 1914 came and went. In 1916 Russell died LEAVING NO SUCCESSOR because it was only a matter of time until the extended time of grace ran out.
Rutherford had jumped in and swallowed up the publishing house hoping to capture Russell's broad base of customers who paid for the magazine through prescriptions. He made the strategic error of completing THE FINISHED MYSTERY as though it were Russell's own last volume in a popular series of Studies in the Scriptures sold by traveling salespersons called colporteurs.
This book got Rutherford thrown into prison for 80 years along with the other directors. They served nine months, the World War ended and public outrage over the anti-Government rantings of Rutherford no longer seemed to matter. Federal prosecutors did not want to risk losing a retrial.
The Watchtower's usefulness in supporting 1914 was problematic. The reframing of attention from a failed prediction (attributed to Russell) to something entirely the product of Rutherford's mind and interests seemed profitable.
What would this PRODUCT BE?
A.H. Macmillan makes the process of reasoning very clear.
WORLD-WIDE PREACHING IS THE GOAL
So the idea began to take hold, "Now we have something to do." We were not going to stand around any more and wait to go to heaven; we were going to work.
The clear demonstration of growing interest that was manifested in our message at Clune's Auditorium the preceding May made us realize the people did want to hear why we were so opposed, and what kind of hope we had that could make us persist in spite of it. Then we began to realize a truly world-wide preaching campaign was ahead of us. The response at our convention also demonstrated that our people were eager to go ahead with it. With this thought of increased activity in mind we set out to move headquarters back to Brooklyn, New York. It took some work to refurnish Bethel and equip our offices there, but by the first of October, 1919, we were beginning to operate. The Watch Tower was beginning to look as it had before. Rutherford's articles were being printed again, and our people began to respond with voluntary contributions in a fairly liberal way. It was remarkable how the Lord was providing just what was needed and thus we were able to spread out and increase our activity.
At the Cedar Point Convention, Rutherford publicly announced:
The door of opportunity is opening before you. Enter it quickly. Remember as you go forth in this work with the new magazine you are not soliciting merely as the agent of a magazine, but you are an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, announcing to the people in this dignified manner the incoming of the Golden Age, the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Master, for which true Christians have hoped and prayed for many centuries. You are an angel of peace, bearing to a war-torn, sin-sick, sorrowing and broken-hearted world the glad message of salvation. How wonderful is our privilege!
Clearly the product was magazine sales! A.H.MacMillan nails the beginning of the Advertising campaign.
Here, clearly defined, is the first official expression of the world-wide preaching work as it is now actually being carried out. Here, in its issue of July 1, 1920 The Watch Tower was pointing to the commission that has served as the dynamic stimulus for all of Jehovah's witnesses from that time forward.
After our convention in 1919 The Watch Tower really began to emphasize the service for everybody. At first, a group of about seven thousand within the congregational organization carried on the bulk of the witness work. These had been active in distributing the seventh volume and now this small group reorganized and began to press forward again in their ministry.
A rallying cry that became a false prophecy was launched.
Satan's empire is falling; millions now living will never die....
Rutherford turned end times speculators into magazine salesmen.
Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom!
Suddenly, as these words filled the auditorium, a platform length banner was unfurled that echoed the stirring phrase: "Advertise the King and Kingdom."