Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Pope and Product Placements, Marketers Holy Connections

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Case Title:

Pope and Product Placements: Marketers' 'Holy' Connections

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Kisholoy & Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: General Business


Case Code: MKS0037

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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After the papacy of Pope John Paul II, the role of pope has transformed from being the spiritual leader of the Catholics worldwide to a global personality wielding influence on various socio-political matters of high importance. This has encouraged many companies to associate themselves with the pope as a channel for their product placements, albeit in a discreet way, to avoid any negative publicity. Besides, the fund-starved Vatican, since the 1990s, has opted for various tie-ups and promotions with different companies as a funding option for papal visits to various countries. With funds from the US-based Roman Catholic Church declining due to several ethical and moral issues, it is opined that the Vatican needs to look at other funding options to sustain itself.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To comprehend the influence of pope on global socio-political environment as the supreme leader of a major religion in the world
  • To debate whether companies can leverage on pope using their products, even in a very subtle and discreet way
  • To debate on whether it is ethical for companies to discreetly project pope as their brand ambassador
  • To analyse the various funding options for Vatican and what other avenues can it access to address its financial woes.

Keywords : Roman Catholic Church, Vatican, World Youth Day, John Paul II, Pope and women issues, Jubilee 2000, Vin Mariani wine, Pope Leo XIII, Popemobiles, Geox SpA, Bushnell performance optics, Volkswagen, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Funding options, Sister Judith Zoebelein,


  • Socio-political Issues and the Vatican Connections
  • Pope and Product Placements: Ethics and Business Sense
  • Vatican's Growing Funding Needs: The Options

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