The IVP Marketing Tag-line: FAIL

IVP or InterVarsity Press is a major publisher of conservative Christian books. IVP have what they call an “Academic” division, which boasts the following marketing tag-line:

IVP Academic: "Evangelically Rooted. Critically Engaged."
A couple of comments on “Evangelically Rooted. Critically Engaged”:

1. Are these alternatives, or are they actually being claimed together? It is really hard to tell, but the full-stop (period) in-between makes me think this must be an example of antithetical rather than synthetic parallelism.

2. In the global market, U.S. Marketers might benefit from a resource such as Urban Dictionary, which sets out worldwide slang terms, including the widely used Kiwi/Australian term, “rooted”, also in use in the UK. Here’s the main Urban Dictionary entry for “root”:


IVP Academic, I’m afraid to say it, but your marketing tag-line is deeply, evangelically… rooted.


13 thoughts on “The IVP Marketing Tag-line: FAIL

  1. I laughed out loud at the logo. Most entertaining! The rooting just made it all the more entertaining. It will make it hard to pass their stand at conferences without guffawing now.

    BTW When did your logo get coloured in? From a visual perspective, rather than highlighting the plight of the woman, it detracts from it: I notice her not the whole scene.


  2. Have you come across the use of “rooting” in this sense?

    When I grow up I want to be a comic-book colorist. Yeah, doesn’t really work in part, but I should add some other bits soon, and eventually colour in the whole thing. And then it might look crap, and I’ll ditch it.


  3. Yey for colouring in pretty pictures. Maybe you could make a biblical giant colouring book. There are plenty of Bible-related colouring books, my fave is one for children and has a graphic crucifixion scene. Awesome stuff!

    I’m from London so there is a hodge-podge of expressions in the back catalogue, plenty of you Southern Hemisphere folk come to London. Plus it is very similar to ‘rutting’ – no idea if they are connected but certainly lots of people use ‘rooting’ maybe when they used to use ‘rutting’.


  4. I believe the second (antithetical) half is a typo. It should say “critically divorced.” Btw, Stephen King occasionally uses “root” in that sense, but generally only as a noun.


  5. “Critically engaged” was originally a laconic marginal note that errantly got into the main text by a sloppy copyist. Its original intent was to indicate that the first scribe at the ad company had written “evangelically rooted” as he was hired to do but then tore into a long, verbal diatribe at having to write such nonsense just to get a pay check. Thus “critically engaged” is the equivalent of [sic].

    And that’s the truth. [sic]


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