UPFRONT: Ads With Impact

Promoting More than Products

Many ads have appeared in the magazine over the years. Some memorable ones made by the design team had proven impact—they educated the public about The Salvation Army and drew people into deeper service and ministry.

We’re Out There … And We’re in Here 

This series of ads, the first of which ran in Summer 1999, was designed to address the problem that many people don’t know about the Salvation Army’s Christian focus. Here’s then–Major David Kelly’s response (Winter 2000):

I am thrilled that we are now promoting the Army as an exciting and uplifting place of worship. [We should] extend this promotion to non–Army publications, both secular and Christian. In the past, the majority of our publicity efforts have focused on social services and fundraising. While those are an important part of what we do, the public now sees us as a solely social service Army. Advertisements such as the one that just appeared in Priority! would begin to alter that perspective and enhance … evangelistic outreach.

Recruitment ads

Beginning in Fall 2000, Priority! ran a series of ads to recruit officer candidates.

We Need Heroes! 

First run in Winter 2007, this ad had an immediate impact, with many people—not just Salvationists—calling the Candidates Department to ask how they could become officers. Other territories asked for the graphics so they could use the ad/poster as well. It was set up and shot by designer David Hulteen. Here’s a reader response from Ernest McGregor of Watertown, N.Y.

… I kept hearing ‘Army’ in my soul. I even went to the local Army recruiter’s officer to see if that was what the Lord was telling me, but I came away unconvinced. … When I got back home, I opened your magazine, and there it was. I saw my old camouflage Army jacket hanging in the background and my new Salvation Army uniform in front. I know what the revelation now means. …

Overseas Child Sponsorship  

This ad, first run in 2008, was designed after editor Linda Johnson’s trip to Kenya, where she worked with fellow editor

Rudi Tinga of the Netherlands to run a writing conference for Kenyan soldiers and officers. Host Marion Ndeta took Linda and Rudi to Kibera, a huge slum in Nairobi, where they met Graham, the little boy in the ad, and his mom and brother. Rudi took this stunning photo of Graham walking home from a Salvation Army school. The officers running the Overseas Child Sponsorship ad say it has drawn many new sponsors to the program.

All About Ads

Upfront_6Summer 2001

First paid ad, about an Army hostel in San Francisco





Upfront_5Spring 2002

Many posters were first ads
in Priority!





Upfront_4Spring 2004

Other U.S. territories begin running ads






‘Altars in the Street’

Upfront_9Priority! was distributed only in the Eastern Territory in its first few years, so it was one of the primary vehicles for promoting the vision of Commmissioner Joe Noland, then territorial commander. This ad (left), first run in Winter 2001, was for the film “Altars in the Street,” which called attention to the plight of children in inner cities. Later ads showcased HopeShare® and SONday’SCOOL®.

Staff Favorites

Upfront_10Summer 2007

Railton School
For Youth Worker Training





Upfront_11Spring 2009

USA East Music Department
Star Lake Musicamp





Upfront_12Fall 2009

USA East Women’s Ministries
‘Let It Rain’ Campaign

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