Army Blitzes Generation Y With New Slogan

The U.S. Army yesterday said it would begin a $150 million multichannel advertising blitz that targets the dot-com generation in its medium of choice with the new “Army of One” slogan.

Advertising agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, worked with Army officials to create the new slogan, which replaces the 20-year-old “Be All You Can Be” motto.

The campaign is partly a response to failed recruitment goals in 1998 and 1999, although 2000’s goal was met. Also, market research showed that the “Be All You Can Be” slogan had “lost meaning” with a demographic that “almost felt as if their adult influencers were telling them what to do,” said Col. Kevin Kelley, the Army’s director of advertising and public affairs for Army Recruiting Command.

Television, radio and direct mail campaigns, although they were developed to be strong enough to stand alone, will act as a traffic generator for the campaign Web site,

“The Web has become the focal point and target of this campaign,” Kelley said. “The key to making this campaign successful is placing the media where it resonates well with the target audience, and for this audience, it is the Internet.”

Soldiers featured through other advertising channels will be showcased on the Web site. In-depth profiles and video clips will highlight soldiers’ personal aspirations and dedication to the Army. Prospects will be able to learn why soldiers enlist and what they have planned for their futures.

“The theme of the site is to portray the human element of the Army,” Kelley said.

The Associated Press reported that the campaign theme was generated in response to “research that shows young people view military life as dehumanizing.”

In addition to the GoArmy Web site, Kelley said online ads would be placed on highly trafficked search engines as well as on music, sports and entertainment content sites, although names of specific Web sites were not disclosed.

“There very likely will be an e-mail component,” he said. “We have done targeted e-mails in the past.”

Cartel Creativo, San Antonio, and Images USA, Atlanta, have developed cultural strategies to target their respective Hispanic and African-American markets. The Army selected these agencies last June to carry out a new performance-based advertising contract.

Direct mail also is a key component. Kelley said the Army in 2001 would exceed recent average yearly drops of 12 million pieces in an attempt to boost traffic to the Web site and to reach recruitment goals.

“We get [the direct mail] list through joint recruiting and advertising programs under the Department of Defense,” Kelley said. A similar strategy may be used to reach prospects through e-mail.

The recruitment goal for the active Army is slightly down this year to 78,950 from 80,000 in 2000. The recruitment goal for the Army Reserve is down this year to 36,000 from 40,000 in 2000.

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