A nativity scene featuring the baby Jesus dressed in a Santa suit and hat is the centrepiece of a new Christian advertising campaign.
The poster, featuring a traditional Old-Master-style Christmas stable scene – but with the Jesus dressed as a tiny Father Christmas – was launched by the Churches Advertising Network.
The caption to the image, which reads “Go on, ask Him for something this Christmas”, has been designed to counter the materialistic excesses of the season, according to the network.
It will be accompanied by radio advertisements in which humorous words highlighting over-consumption at Christmas have been set to the tunes of four non-religious Christmas carols.
Each of the advertisements, to be heard on commercial stations in the fortnight before Christmas, invites listeners to “ask Jesus for something else this Christmas – come to your local Christian church”.
The Rev Tom Ambrose, a member of CAN, said: “The aim of the poster is to counter the materialism of Christmas in a fresh and challenging way. The greatest gift of all time is the present of God’s Son.”
The posters will be placed on advertising sites around the country in the run-up to Christmas. The Churches Advertising Network is a non-denominational group which has produced poster and radio advertisements for the past decade.
A campaign by the group last year showed one of the Three Kings leaving the price tag on his gift to the baby Jesus. It also included a radio commercial featuring a Goon-style sketch of a grandmother at a family gathering blowing a raspberry.
Other campaigns by the network suggested that Mary was having a “bad hair day” when she discovered she was pregnant and another that used a Che Guevara-style image to represent Jesus.