A Bakery in New Zealand has come out with an advertising campaign featuring their take on the “Hot Crossed Bun”.  Why?  This raises the question whether the adage “All Advertising is Good Advertising” is true.   I guess if your business is called “Hell Bakery” this might work as a bit of humor.  For readers who do not recognize the symbol on the bun, it is the Satanic Star.  It is in place of the Cross of Jesus.

It is offensive.  It garnered instant attention in the New Zealand press.  The marketing budget was maximized, but at what cost to the the future business and to the bakery’s reputation?  Now I guess if you call yourself “Hell Bakery” you are not worried so much about your reputation.  I can think of much cleverer ways to draw attention without this offense.  For example why not use a traditional hot cross bun in the ad with the slogan “Go to Hell…Jesus did” Of course Jesus rose again, and that makes it funny.

One of the jokes I share with some friends in the parish is a list of advertising slogans that we will never use.  We censor ourselves.  Why?  Because we need to filter our marketing to ensure our image and identity are supported and not harmed by our funny slogans.  Recently a local church put up a slogan on their church sign just before the start of Lent: “Get your Ashes in here”.  It was funny, but belonged on the list of funny slogans that never get used.  It was humorous but does damage to the “brand” of this nice church.

I expect that this bakery has also harmed itself.  It may be their most successful advertising campaign budget wise but I expect it will harm their business.  I know after this I wouldn’t shop there.  Here is the full story.  (Hat tip: TItusOneNine)