Army Ad Draws More Responses, But Not More Recruits

Share this content:
Response to the U.S. Army's recruitment campaign "Army of One" has increased since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, but recruitment rates have not shown a corresponding boost.

The attacks in New York and Washington that day have had minimal effect on recruitment efforts, said Douglas Smith, spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, KY. Though inquiries have increased at the Army Web site,, the number of actual recruits has not risen, and the Army has no plans to change its advertising strategy.

The $150 million Army of One campaign, designed by agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, began at the start of this year and replaced the Army's previous "Be All That You Can Be" motto. Army of One targeted Generation Y, aiming to get young people interested in Army careers.

In addition to the Web site, the Army launched short-form direct response TV spots in April featuring a toll-free number prospects could call to receive an informational video or T-shirt. The spots generated 3,500 qualified leads in the first week of their run.

Response generated by the ad spots increased in the days immediately after the attack, Smith said. During Sept. 12-14, the average number of e-mails generated by rose 150 percent from the norm of 200-500 a day, while participants in daily online chats at the site increased to 743 a day, up from normal averages of 400 a day.

Numbers of responses to the telephone hotline were unavailable. Smith said the Army has anecdotal evidence that telephone responses rose as well in the three days after the terrorist strikes.

However, recruitment numbers have not deviated from the average since Sept. 11, Smith said. Though inquiries increased, many potential leads were turned away because they failed to meet the Army's physical and legal recruitment standards.

Prospective recruits included former soldiers who were deemed too old to re-enlist, Smith said. People may have thought that the Army's recruitment standards were relaxed since the Sept. 11 attacks, but no changes have been made.

"It will probably be months before we know what the long-range impact will be," he said. "So far, the impact has been minimal."

Though overall results of the Army of One campaign since the January rollout were unavailable, Smith said the Army was satisfied with the effort. The spots will continue to run on national television without changes.

"It's done what it was meant to do: Get young people intrigued enough to go to the Web site and look for more information," he said.


Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above