The Role of Religion in Advertising: The Case Study of the "Batman" TV Commercial

Maria Cernat


This article tells, in academic terms, the story of a famous Romanian TV ad: the one where two men throw a priest from a tower mistaking him for the famous Batman movie character and hoping he would fly. As expected, this spot gave rise to a lot of discussion and debates over the years. But this is not the main reason that recommends it for this type of analysis. The most interesting aspect about this spot is the fact that although it was subsequently censored and it was aired on TV only for one day, it is still incredibly popular and it still receives important awards at various advertising festivals. Besides its popularity, this TV commercial is bringing forward very important aspects regarding the interesting relation between orthodox religious symbols and advertising. In the first section of my article I shall focus on the way profane media myths are responsible for framing the social reality. The second section consists in an empirical research conducted on first-year students enrolled in a communication and public relation program. The main objective is to determine some of the reasons that make this commercial so attractive despite its offensive script. The last section of this article consists in an analysis of the reasons why the mainstream Christian faith is being replaced by magical thinking and irrational beliefs in the magical power of the brands.


religious symbols, consumer society, information market, media myths, commercial ads

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