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How Different Is The Feast!
Pastor General’s Report – August 29, 1980
How Different Is The Feast!

by Herbert W. Armstrong

The 1980 Feast of Tabernacles is almost upon us. Feast fever is mounting! In many ways it should be the greatest ever!

On the Feast of Trumpets, I plan to speak by live transmission onto large movie screens at the auditorium and gymnasium in Pasadena from my new office in Tucson. I will speak at ALL Feast sites worldwide on opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles, by prerecorded film.

On opening day of the Feast – the first Holy Day, it is planned for me to speak LIVE from the Tucson Community Center, by TV satellite, worldwide. Also again on the final GREAT DAY. God has provided breathtaking facilities for His Work and His Church of today!

You will notice, in a co-worker letter going out today, the mention of the new FULL-PAGE AD CAMPAIGN now started in metropolitan newspapers. It is spearheaded by the most prestigious newspapers – as well as the largest in circulation – the New York TIMES and Los Angeles TIMES. And now soon, the Wall Street Journal (with even larger circulation), which gives national coverage reaching the nation’s LEADERS in business, industry, finance and education. Also such newspapers, so far, as the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Pasadena Star-News. Others hopefully may be added – such as the Chicago Tribune, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, Detroit FREE-PRESS, Washington POST, Atlanta CONSTITUTION, Louisville COURIER, Kansas City STAR, Des Moines REGISTER (I was once urged to become its Advertising Manager), Portland OREGONIAN, Dallas TIMES-HERALD – to name a few of the nation’s most PRESTIGIOUS newspapers.

When I was diligently learning an advertising writing style, there was no radio, or TV. Nearly all advertising was placed in newspapers, magazines, trade journals. Of course there was direct mail, and there were billboards and streetcar cards. But nothing like TV commercials which have sent many newspapers to the graveyard.

But my specialty was “educational advertising,” rather than “general publicity.” We termed the advertising of convenience goods – such as toothpaste, soap, groceries, tobacco, cigarettes – “convenience goods.” The advertising of such products did not need to create desire or build a market – merely to popularize a NAME so purchasers would call for the advertised brand instead of some other. Such ads required few words – just display and constant repetition of the brand NAME!

But my training was largely in the field of goods or services where DESIRE had to be created or public HABITS changed. This required MORE WORDS. People were always saying my ads were “too long” – too many words – they assumed people would not read more than eight or ten words. But somehow, they just couldn’t understand WHY my ads produced such remarkable results!

I often explained how people will read a thick book of hundreds of pages of a mystery fiction story. They keep reading hour after hour BECAUSE interest and SUSPENSE has been aroused to see HOW IT COMES OUT!

As I wrote in the co-worker letter, Walter Cronkite in a televised interview explained what all newsmen know – that ordinary occurrences or GOOD accomplishments are NOT NEWS – unless OUT of the ordinary or sensational. And usually the OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY occurrences are BAD – like a murder, a plane hijacking, a big WAR. And so news is nearly always a reporting of BAD news.

My job, starting from age 18 in advertising writing, was to take the ORDINARY and make it – from the very headline – OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY – to grab instant ATTENTION, at a fleeting glance past a newspaper or magazine page, in virtually the same instant make it seem UNUSUAL, arouse INTEREST, and before the eye left it CREATE SUSPENSE – cause the mind to want to read farther. Then, once that is done through headlines, hold and even increase suspense, make it so interesting the reader continues on.

This is NO EASY TRICK! Don’t think for a second that just anybody can produce that kind of writing. It requires knowledge of practical and workable psychology – altogether different from the theoretical psychology taught by the college professor. It requires a style of writing utterly UNIQUE – fast-moving, smooth, with words even those of only a fourth-grade education can understand. Writing excellence must be achieved by the STYLE, and manner of grouping words and sentences together. It definitely cannot be the staid, tiresome, professorial “language of scholarship,” with long drawn-out sentences, big words average readers cannot understand – writing that inflates the vanity of the writer but needs an interpreter for the average reader.

I was trained to write for the WHOLE PUBLIC – not just the scholarly of higher education. Yet it needed a TONE of dignity (with exceptions), a sound of maturity, a ring of SINCERITY. It needed a certain excellence of diction and sentence forming. Further, I learned to use the more active, expressive, dynamic words to flavor the writing with force, power, and compelling interest and to MOVE THE READER TO ACTION.

Those early years of developing this style of ad writing is today paying off in the FULL PAGES IN SUCH PRESTIGIOUS NEWSPAPERS AS THE NEW YORK TIMES!

We are hearing from important people in New York, Boston and California that they have never read ads like these before. AND THEY ARE REALLY READING THEM! This kind of ad writing has become a lost art. But the living Christ inspired the development of this type of skill SEVENTY YEARS AGO, so that He could use it today to reach the “great and the near-great” of the United States (and perhaps soon many other nations) in reaching this NEW MARKET with Christ’s Message. This is a NEW DOOR Christ has just opened to His Work.

I can tell you that Christ is not planning to add many – perhaps none or almost none – to His CHURCH membership by getting His Message effectively before “the great and the near-great.” But He wants us to reach them “AS A WITNESS!” And it is a POWERFUL witness.

One thing this full-page ad campaign is doing – it is establishing God’s Church as a REPUTABLE, INFLUENTIAL FORCE instead of a contemptible “cult,” in the public mind, and among national leaders.

You might read some of this about the new major-prestige ad campaign before your local congregations.