Quite apart from their primary purpose of attracting new people, highly visible ads like these also delighted the people already attending: "Hey - there's our Mass on a billboard!"
Christmas 1994 - These 30-second ads played on an all-news station, KQV-AM, and an FM middle-of-the-road station, WSHH.
Both were recorded by staff announcers at those stations. Based on calls to the parish office (whose phone number was not even in the ad!), the WSHH ads were our most effective radio spots ever.
Christmas 1995: The "Bah Humbug!" Ad - Well, this one's different. Conceived, written, produced, and performed by the inimitable Pip Theodor, a late-life convert to the Church. An entire drama in one minute!
This was heard on KQV-AM and KDKA-AM 46 times in December 1995.
Which are really just mobile billboards. "Quick, look - there goes our Mass on that bus!"
Produced for a direct mail campaign using a rented mailing list, and for possible use as a Sunday insert in newspapers.
This piece, 6x9" on heavy semigloss paper, was the insipiration for similar brochures at several other Latin Mass locations.
These ads were financed by a non-profit corporation established in 1994 when the "Ecclesia Dei Indult" Mass moved to St. Boniface Church. More details can be learned in the history booklet, Post Decem Annos.
To state the obvious, the potential audience of these ads twenty years ago differs significantly from today's. In 1995, everyone over 35 years of age had memories of the Mass before Vatican II. Today, the "nostalgia" aspect used in some of these ads would resonate with far fewer people.
Although there have always been two Masses every Sunday at St. Boniface, the ads emphasized the 11:00 High Mass. This was done on the assumption that a nearly-silent Low Mass, though simpler, is more difficult for a newcomer to follow.
Q: What proved to be the most effective advertising for the Mass?
A: None of the above; rather, word-of-mouth brings more new people to Mass than any paid advertising.