In marketing, we often drive for major events which through their magnitude will create an ongoing halo effect, a self-generating gravity which continues to attract thinkers to them for some time to come. In our modern media age, for such an event to be effective, it needs to be really massive to garner any form of lasting halo, and needs to be well supported with a ready network to handle the load it creates. Also, it needs be somewhat controversial while having the ability to deflect some of the controversy away from itself. It’s kind of like a perfect storm, to use N. T. Wright’s favorite analogy.
Or it’s like a Mormon guy running for president who can get the most prominent protestant in the nation to back him, and get Catholic attention via his running mate. He loses, deflecting some of the controversy based on the fact that no president can succeed in this environment, and his church deflects controversy via a broad marketing campaign which distances itself from the Mormon guy by emphasizing the church’s diversity. Add to this an increased missionary force (via age shifts) ready to handle the additional load created and the increased interest because the candidates loss minimizes the anti-mormon backlash (via the right being unable to lash out and the left having no need to). Did I mention that he also defies reality by turning the RNC into a dog and pony show of church members talking about what it’s like to be Mormon?
Well played, God. Well played.