Getting free (unintentional) publicity!
The Book of Mormon has been one of the biggest success stories on Broadway since Wicked. But not all the great publicity it received was planned.
Check out this picture. It is a large billboard in the middle of Times Square bought by the Mormon Church after The Book of Mormon opened.
The purpose for this billboard was to try and remove some of the stereotypes that the musical production implied in its depiction of Mormons by displaying many different ‘faces of Mormonism’. However, the advertisement ended up giving The Book of Mormon quite a bit of unintended publicity.
A large majority of people walking through Times Square would have heard about The Book of Mormon, probably more than have actually heard about the religion. Regardless of whether they had seen adverts, websites or read the news stories displaying the disgust from the Mormon church, most of these people were award of the musical and would have linked the word ‘Mormon’ with The Book of Mormon.
So, upon seeing the billboard, not only did it bring The Book of Mormon to the front of passer-by’s minds, but it also did something else. Something possibly more important.
By showing that anyone can be a Mormon, it inadvertently suggested that the idea of Mormonism was so relatable that anyone and everyone would enjoy the show!
Whoops . . . (But good for The Book of Mormon)