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Video episodes nudge students toward Bible

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–YouTube, MySpace and FaceBook are realities of the social networking age in which today’s student generation lives. As millions gravitate to online communities and blogs, HolmanTV will be there to offer an alternative message.

B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, on May 14 launched HolmanTV, an innovative video blog with two- to five-minute episodes designed for the 20-something media-savvy generation. The aim is to expose high school and college students to the new Holman Student Bible that releases in July.

Tim Jordan, B&H marketing manager, and Steve NeSmith, director of B&H’s e-business, realized after looking at marketing trends that old methods won’t reach new crowds. Jordan and NeSmith decided to create a campaign tailored to capture the attention of a student audience.

“We began the campaign by asking where the students are,” Jordan said. “They are online. Social networking sites are where they are. In the last two years, social networking has exploded.”

YouTube last year boasted 100 million videos served per day, while countless other video blog websites totaled similar visits. Jordan and NeSmith saw the evolution toward online communities as an opportunity to promote relevant, “redeeming” programming on the same video blog sites.

“This generation is consuming media like never before. And what we see online are grassroots efforts,” NeSmith said, noting that professional filmmaking is not the standard for the media generation. “We see students filming everyday life and that’s what makes the social networking websites so popular. It’s about average people documenting their lives.”

The eight HolmanTV shows feature two- to five-minute individual episodes, each with a music component, centering on the lives of two cubicle-constrained characters -– Holman and Gigi -– who personify the state of the younger generation as they seek to break free from the cubicle and live their own dreams by traversing the city of Nashville to make it big in the music industry.

The final 17-seconds will feature a segment on the Holman Student Bible, which will appear like a sponsor tag for the video blog.

“Students don’t want commercials,” Jordan said. “They want to be entertained. We are creating a clean alternative for media-driven students to consume. We want to add value and provide a resource without being overtly commercial,” Jordan added.

“We believe God’s Word is life-changing,” Jordan said, noting that the Holman Student Bible was designed for students to interact with the graphics and study notes. “We hope that when students read through the text, they will ask God to show them how to apply it to their lives. That’s the whole point of the HolmanTV project.”
HolmanTV is online at www.holmantv.com. To listen to a podcast featuring Jordan and NeSmith, visit www.lifeway.com/insidelifeway.

    About the Author

  • Kelly Davis Shrout