The Efficacy of Religious Outdoor Advertising in the Southern United States

Jefferson Spurlock 1 *

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This study examines the efficacy of outdoor religious messages. In other words, does exposure to roadside advertisements displaying religious messages, particular church services or prayer, increase one‘s intent to attend church services or to engage in active prayer? Three hundred thirty-five undergraduate and graduate students from a medium-sized southern university (in the United States) took part in the study‘s experiment (Seventeen students did not complete the experiment so their responses were eliminated). One hundred sixty-five students were placed in a control group. The remaining 153 students were placed in a treatment group. All participants answered the same pretest and posttest questionnaires on a computer screen. In addition, they observed a variety of outdoor advertisements (on the computer screen) after the pretest questionnaire and before the posttest questionnaire. The control group was exposed to 14 non-religious messages while the treatment group was exposed to 14 religious and non-religious messages. The results showed a ceiling effect on its participants. Essentially, most were religious to begin with which left little room for them to increase their religious habits. As the study showed, most participants did not change their responses from pretest to posttest after exposure to the outdoor ads.


Religion Outdoor Advertising ‗God Speaks Campaign ‘ Southern United States


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 4, Issue 3, July 2014, pp. 170-189

Published Online: 25 Jul 2014

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