Shmuly Tennenhaus, the man behind the Obamica and the John McKippah (scroll down) is at it again!
This time in response to an incident which just occured involving a young Orthodox Jew who was praying on a plane (doing the ritualistic morning prayer involving "Teffilin" (a set of small cubic leather boxes painted black, containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, with leather straps dyed black on one side, and worn by observant Jewish men during weekday morning prayers) and ended up being diverted by a panicked flight crew, surrounded by FBI and taking into custody...but later released.
So much for religious freedom, 'eh?
He put together this video which gets really good around the 2 minute mark. Personally I can't wait for his how-to perform a Jewish ritualistic circumcision using a box-cutter. Cheeky!
There are (believe it or not) several marketing implications with this affair:
- Shmuly understands "viral"; I've often spoken about a luck factor associated with getting noticed, but cite South African golfer, Gary Player who is quoted as saying, "the more I practice, the luckier I get". Well, Shmuly gets lucky more often than most and his hit:miss ratio is higher than most. Why? I guess you'll just have to ask him...or read on.
- Shmuly is an opportunistic marketer...he acts quickly, decisively and smartly on an issue that is topical, current and relevant (if not to you, then to him)
- He's not afraid to tackle areas which most marketers will never tread
- He has a sense of humor
- Most importantly, in this case he's been able to turn a negative into a positive. In this case, he's been able to shine attention to a passion point: his Orthodoxy and Judaism in general. He's educating those who might never have seen Tefillin before (which by the way includes plenty of Jews these days) and making it OK for a Jew to "daven" on a plane (just travel to Israel on El Al and you'll see this pretty consistently at the back of the plane)
Note to TSA: you'll probably want to scan the Tefillin next time, but just be thankful that they don't come sewn to the insides of someone's underpants.