The Rapture- You Can Advertise Anything

Advertising is such a funny thing, as far as I am concerned, you can market anything because there are people who are more than willing to believe anything.

If you have an idea for a product or service, don’t disregard the idea as unsellable because with the power of advertising and promotion, it could possibly be a hit.

If you have seen the “as seen on TV” advertisements such as the Sham Wow, the Snuggie and the Potty Putter, you can succeed in marketing an idea if your product is the right kind of stupid.

There has even been a marketing campaign based on the unbelievable…

This is when people were waiting for the rapture.

The Case

Harold Camping, a Christian fundamentalist, predicted that the rapture, the Christian apocalypse, would come on May 22, 2011. He spent millions of dollars on billboards, adspace on buses and there was even a rally formed under his influence that was used to disseminate his apocalyptic prophecy to as many people as possible.

One of his followers was Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent most of his life savings ($110,000) to help fund this campaign, creating his own flyers and handing them out to people. He also spent a lot of money funding his own book predicting the Apocalypse

On May 22, 2011, Robert Fitzpatrick went to Time Square (The most densely populated area in New York) and he got a lot of attention there, so much so, that it attracted media attention and news reporters wanting to capture the moment when the rapture was predicted…

…and of course, nothing happened. Initially, people made fun of him, Fitzpatrick was in disbelief that the prediction did not happen, but he was still humble and because of that, people stopped making fun of him and several believers came up to him and they were disappointed because they spent or gave away most of their money somewhere else. He said that he was sorry and there wasn’t much he could do as he was in the same position.

It was at that point where I realised that the story was no longer funny, it was actually quite sad.

The Take Home

What I did learn in this case is that the power of advertising knows absolutely no bounds. As long as there is someone who is willing to believe in something, there are many people that person can influence to believe the same thing. Even as many doomsday predictions happened before, there are still people who believe it and with advertising an self-promotion, you can transcend that unpopular idea into the mainstream world.

If a religious group can create that amount of awareness and interest over the apocalypse, what is really stopping any idea from potentially working? They were strategic in their campaign in spreading the message out and they got as much attention as they could have hoped for the idea and money that they had. The only reason they failed was because there was no end product (which was the rapture) for people to experience.

So if you have a wacky idea like a card game called “Exploding Kittens” or you have crazy ideas, think long and hard before disregarding them, there might be a multi-million dollar strategy, product, service or idea that is inside your very head right now.

Nelson Cumming is an enthusiastic business blogger with with a keen interest in Marketing and PR.

Adrienne McLean DTM – SpeakersTrainingCamp International Instructor and the Founder of The Speakers Practice – Adrienne specialises at

The Speakers Practice helping clients to confidently deliver presentations for maximum impact for sales presentations, pitching to Investors, promotional presentations etc.

Adrienne has been training presenting to camera programs since 2012 and has been coached by Lou Bortone – US Video Marketing Expert.

You can contact Adrienne on or ring on 0414 367 960.