U.S. Army Launches Ad Agency Review

The U.S. Army has officially issued a request for proposals for its advertising and marketing business.

The decision falls in line with the shifting marketing tactics of the Army —covered by DMN in “The Data-Driven Evolution of US Army Marketing Tactics” — which dictates an effort to “establish a new brand.”

The review, which was initially launched in 2014, encountered significant delays, following the Army’s decision to extend its contract by a year and a half with McCann Worldgroup.

The contract resulting from this review, according to an army spokesperson speaking with Ad Week, could result in a $4 billion, 10-year commitment. The numbers, however, will vary with each annual budget, as the U.S. Army currently spends between $184 and $200 million on marketing each year.

The purpose of these efforts will be to recruit and retain personnel to serve in the Active Army, Army Reserve, Army Civilian workforce, and the Army National Guard by transforming the mindset of the target audiences.

In reviewing the contracts, the U.S. Army aims to partner with a company that can create a nationwide advertising campaign, similar to McCann Worldgroup

In 2015, the Army Marketing and Research Group and McCann Worldgroup developed the “Army Team” marketing campaign. The focus of the “Army Team” campaign has been to impress on the civilian audience that the Army is elite institution seeking new members. Furthermore, the goal of the campaign was to highlight the variety of jobs within the Army.

“Research has shown that Gen Z is all about making a difference, a difference for family, for community, for their country, for the world,” said James Ortiz, the director of marketing at the Army Marketing and Research Group. “Now we want to educate them on how our organization can enable them to make this difference.”

The winning agency network will provide an overarching strategic template along with services including creative, media planning and buying, public relations, social media, event marketing and related promotions. Over time, it may also handle influencer marketing and multicultural campaigns as needed.

“We want America to understand the institution for what it is, and we know through research that America does not value the Army to the extent it should,” Ortiz said. “When we ask Americans what they want their Army to be, [what] they actually describe is [what the Army really is], and when they learn this they are much more willing to give us support and join.”

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