Since I posted Stephen Colbert’s Catholic parody of the LDS Church’s current PR campaign a few days ago, I thought that for this week’s Mormon film I’d show a few Mormon commercials, of different stripes.
First is one of the Church’s real “I’m a Mormon” spots, one of my favorites because it’s of my friend Josh Maready and shows him skateboarding around our neighborhood in upper Manhattan, including, at around 1:06, right in front of our chapel, although you don’t see it. Josh is a brilliant photographer, by the way, and all around great guy.
Next is an old Homefront Jr. spot. These were a series of public service announcements in the late ’70s and 80s promoting values like honesty to youngsters. As a youngster myself when this came out, this is the one that I remember the best. The kid is Alfonso Ribeiro, who I best knew from Silver Spoons but who was also on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Good times.
How did the ball land in the yard? He must have tough drapes.
Third we have a legitimate Axe body wash commercial featuring a Mormon-esque protagonist. This reminded me of John-Charles Duffy’s recent article “Elders on the Big Screen: Film and the Globalized Circulation of Mormon Missionary Images” in the book Peculiar Portrayals: Mormons on the Page, Stage, and Screen. In a nutshell he says that Mormon missionaries have become a visual type or trope standing in for virtually any type of religious caricature, even if the character isn’t necessarily LDS. But even the final text is laid out like the Church’s logo…
Fourth is the great Snickers commercial with Mr. T and Kirby Heyborne, star of many Mormon films. Great acting here too.
And last of all, the BYU library’s version of the recent popular Old Spice commercials.
Since when can you eat in the library? Man, things have changed.
Hope these have been fun!