Note: The following is an extract of our January 2022 report “The Chosen Series: 10 Critical Concerns.” Below is concern #8.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” (Amos 8:11)
“Get Used to Different”
The Jesus of The Chosen tells his disciples and global viewership to “get used to different.”1 However, the Bible’s Jesus Christ emphasized to His disciples and followers just the opposite—beware of different. The true Jesus warns to beware of a different Christ—a false Christ—who will pretend to be Him (Matthew 24:3-5, 15, 24). God reiterates and magnifies this warning about the coming of a different Christ—Antichrist—in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation.
While The Chosen’s creators, directors, and producers may argue that “get used to different” was just a throw-away comment in a particular situation, why has this statement become the flagship motto for the series? It’s emblazoned on Chosen merchandise from T-shirts and hoodies to ball caps and coffee mugs; and Chosen actors and staff often wear “get used to different” T-shirts when being interviewed or making a speech. In January 2022, the owners of the series applied for a U.S. Trademark for this seemingly benign and innocent motto.2 We can find some very interesting insights into the marketing of The Chosen by examining a book written by Executive Producer Derral Eves, The YouTube Formula. From a section titled “The Ultimate Unicorn: Jesus,” Eves, states:
On a big project like [The Chosen], we do a multiday lockdown marketing session, but beforehand, we have several brainstorming sessions to get a good handle on who the right viewer persona would be. . . . we realized that Gen X and millennial women are the biggest spenders online, so our target buyer persona was females aged 25 to 45. We targeted the people who were the community, school, and church volunteers, the I‐love‐Jesus type. . . .
Some of our biggest contributors said they donated money because someone had pushed it to them—that someone was usually a person who fit our target persona profile (our buyer strategy worked!). In just a few short weeks, we were able to get tens of thousands of Facebook followers.
The essence here is that the more you understand and relate to your audience and create content for them, the more YouTube will connect the dots and feed them their preferred flavor of ice cream, so to speak. Maybe it’s the unicorn‐poop‐flavored kind, or maybe it’s the Jesus kind. . . .
You have to keep going back to look at your data and reevaluate. The more data that comes in, the more patterns you will see and the better you will be able to shift your strategy as needed to make better decisions about your content. . . .
When I work with clients, I always have them develop a plan to build their following before they create more content. . . . make sure you create the content specifically for them. . . .
[L]et me tell you how my partners and I built a loyal following around . . . The Chosen, and it has nothing to do with religion. Every client I work with is required to read a book called Primal Branding that teaches the fundamentals of community building. . . . When . . . Dallas Jenkins and I connected, one of the first things we talked about was building an audience. . . .
We needed a passionate social army who could see our vision and our mission and make it their own. . . . As The Chosen’s community grew, our Creed changed based on feedback and interactions with our followers. . . .
“Get used to different” became a catchphrase that viewers really responded to. So it became a Creed. . . . The same thing happened with the phrase, “Binge Jesus.” Our viewers latched onto it, and we integrated it into our Creed.3 (emphasis added)
As you can read above, a big part of The Chosen’s popularity can be attributed to adjusting the content to fit into what the “community” of targeted viewers want to see. Underlying what on the surface appears to be a project affirmed by God (as is claimed by its creators) is a well-researched, market-driven, and calculated formula to make The Chosen successful and “different.”
(To read the entire report, click here.
(Drawing from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.)