Scientology Is Chocolate and Football Games

You won’t find “Scientology” on Brandtags, a cool Web site that tracks “the first thing that pops into your head” when you say the name of hundreds of brands.

But if it were, the top three word associations would probably come up as Tom Cruise, cult and weird.

The Church of Scientology is trying to change all that by creating new associations for its brand with ads like this one (above). The take-away: Scientology isn’t the bizarro fabrication of a science fiction writer. It’s about real-life stuff like roast beef dinners and kids on trampolines.

Will ads like this change negative perceptions about Scientology? Probably not. In fact, they may inflame the suspicions that many people have about the organization.

But it’s more likely that “The Church” is targeting its next generation of believers, not us. Of the smattering of comments on YouTube, nearly all are positive, like this one: “This makes one of my friends cry every time. So beautiful and so true.”