Mary and Joseph have been updated for the reality television era in a new spot for first-time advertiser Home Paternity, and it’s one that’s just in time for the holiday season.
The nearly four-minute spot reimagines how the birth of Jesus story would play out on a daytime talk show and finds the holy couple on a fake show – a la Maury Povich – called ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ On the show, the Virgin Mary appears in front of a live studio audience to discuss the dubious details of her child’s paternity. Joseph of Nazareth is there to tell his side of the story, and in an interesting twist, he backs up Mary’s claim of divine conception.
“I had a dream in which a very pretty man told me I’m not the father,” Joseph says, referring to the Angel Gabriel. The boisterous audience responds skeptically by chanting, “Chump! Chump! Chump!” Amidst the chaos, the host announces that Home Paternity will determine whether or not God is the baby daddy.
While the spot could have gone completely off the rails, it manages to pull it back before getting too silly. Even though there are requisite questions from bullying audience members and even a chest bump between Joseph and God (portrayed by a floating cloud), the spot sticks to the story and even has a smart commercial within the commercial, with an actual ad for Home Paternity and how it works weaved in seamlessly.
It most certainly won’t please all, and will definitely offend some, but it manages to sell while staying true to the product and the narrative, as wacky as it might seem.
This is the pilot advertising effort for Home Paternity, which tapped the Chattanooga-based agency Humanaut to promote the affordable DNA testing kit that can be conducted in the privacy of home.
“Clearly we had a lot of fun with this. The goal was to create a holiday campaign that both religious and nonreligious people could laugh at and appreciate,” says David Littlejohn, chief creative officer at Humanaut. “We hope we equally offended and touched the hearts of everyone in time for Christmas.”
Home Paternity kit can be ordered online and conducted at home. After collecting DNA, users mail their swabs to the accredited lab and receive results online. The results are based on 21 markers, many of which are used by the FBI to establish human identity testing. The test also uses the same technology that real talk shows rely upon to settle paternity disputes.
Watch the spot to see the results of who Jesus’s baby daddy really is. The video will run on Facebook and YouTube over the holidays.