Mormons are regular people who enjoy things like skateboarding and painting, stresses a bizarre new ad campaign launched in heartland cities. The ads, running in nine cities including Pittsburgh and Minneapolis, each feature a person talking about their jobs, their families, and their interests before declaring: "I'm a Mormon." The ads are "to help people understand that we are not who they think we are," explains a church official.
Some find the campaign a bit suspect. Mormon officials firmly deny that the ads are part of an effort to prepare the ground for a Mitt Romney presidential bid in 2012. "They're a bit touchy about getting run out of everywhere they were until they ended up settling beside a giant dead salt lake, so working on their brand is understandable," notes Alex Pareene at Salon, suggesting the ads are aimed at boosting the religion's image after the bad press it received for funding anti-gay marriage campaigns.