Lifestyle & Belief

Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn says Jesus was the 'original hipster' in new ad campaign


Jorge Mario Bergoglio attends his first private Mass as Pope Francis in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on March 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy.


L'Osservatore Romano

The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has launched a campaign this month that shamelessly tries to appeal to Brooklyn's fastest-growing demographic: hipsters.

In the series of advertisements, spotted by local blog Animal New York, Jesus Christ is described as “The Original Hipster.” The ads, appearing at bus stations and phone kiosks in Brooklyn and Queens, feature an image of converse sneakers peeking out from under the hem of a robe. 

The ad campaign is now being mocked across the blogosphere. "What makes Jesus so hip?," wrote Salon's Katie McDonough. "Well, for one thing, he was a carpenter, and craftsmanship is big in Brooklyn right now."

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The stereotypical hipster, of course, shuns religion — along with shameless ad campaigns, and the label of "hipster" — so this campaign will probably be a tough sell.

The ad comes after a Pew survey found that the Catholic church in America is losing members. While nearly one-in-three Americans were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four describe themselves as Catholic.

And religion in general is losing some steam with young people. Among Americans ages 18 to 29, one in four say they are not affiliated with any faith.