Christmas begins every year on a negative note, erupting in greed and violence on Black Friday. REI Co-Op chose a different marketing strategy; they closed on this optimum day for sales, instead encouraging their loyal shoppers to#OptOutside.
Because Jesus knew what they were thinking, he replied, “Every kingdom involved in civil war becomes a wasteland. Every city or house torn apart by divisions will collapse. – Matthew 12:25
People embraced the idea and shared that hash tag with photos of their outdoor adventures. Rather than beating down another shopper for a Ninja Coffee Maker or Samsung Smart TV on Black Friday, people went hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. This strategy warmed my heart that a company thought of people as something other than a dollar sign. Ever since the Hackathon, my mind has been analyzing stuff like this from a Christian perspective.
What if a group of pastors met together in their community and planned a strategy, utilizing their congregations, and shared a hash tag like #ShareChrist or #ChristmasWins through encouraging their congregations to do something counter-cultural on Black Friday? The congregation would share their experiences on social media, using that hashtag. What if these pastors told their congregations to hijack a hash tag used on Black Friday to bring attention to the Christmas story rather than the greed and violence?
According to an article I read, hashtags should be used with Instagram to show a type of lifestyle. This strategy is often used to market a brand. Let us work together to show Christ in our actions and words like REI CO-Op shows their love of the outdoors in a couch potato world.