A few years back a friend and I were hitting some golf balls at the driving range. We're having a good time when suddenly I started thinking out loud about the "overhead" that such a business has. What it must cost to run, maintain the grounds and how much money they bring in daily. My friend just shook his head. These things were the farthest from his mind.

But not me. I'm a big fan of learning lessons wherever you can find them. And apparently I'm not the only one. Yesterday I ran accross the Spider-Man 3 Bible Study Guide . I immediatly thought, "How cool is that?" Finding biblical wisdom in a pop-culture geek film! I love it!

The guide is a whole six pages long, four if you discount the cover page and the blank "study notes" page at the end. I've only glanced at this (I hear it contains spoilers to the film) but I like what the authors have done here.

spiderman3studyguide.jpgThe guide is broken into themes based on characters and plots of the movie:

  • Resisting Temptation
  • Peter Parker / Spider Man: We all need help
  • Flint Marko / Sandman: Trying to do good
  • Eddie Brock / Venom: Revenge in our heart
  • Harry Osborn / Green goblin: Madness overtaking us
  • Forgiveness: The real superpower

Each theme uses a scriptural reference and ends with some questions that the reader should pose to themselves as inner-reflection.

Cheesy? Perhaps. But this a guide meant for young people who 1) study the bible with their weekly youth groups, and 2) love a good spidey flick!

From a Christian perspective this is a great way to speak to young people in their own language, using what they love to provide a fun, moral message. I love this from a marketing perspective as well. Not that this will provide any significant boost to the Spider-Man 3 box office numbers, but it is (a small amount of) increased exposure.

Any youth groups using this study guide might go ahead and have a "movie night", where they bring their entire group of young people to the theater to watch the movie and have a short bible study afterward. I'm sure that would get kids to the theater that wouldn't normally go, but because it's a "youth group" thing, they'll be on board. Not to mention those that might see it twice, once with the youth group and once with the family. I know my daughter would go and then she'd see it again with the rest of the fam.

The down side here is that I don't see any copyright information on the document, so I assume that this was not done with permission from the makers of the comics or film. Even though no one is trying to make money on the study guide, I'm sure the producers would appreciate some kind of trademark or copyright recognition.

I've always considered the Spider-Man movies to be some of the best comic book adaptations ever. And each does have a positive message. It's kinda cool to see someone using that in a way to teach positive lessons to our young-uns.

May 3, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

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