Schoolkids & military advertisement: “Army Strong” vs. “Army of One”

Logo Army Strong 1 (Scroll down to see this week’s earlier posts about youth and recruiting.)

“Be All You Can Be” was the Army’s slogan for decades. It was replaced by “Army of One”—a slogan that tapped into a core American value: individualism. Effective advertising taps values, though in this case it appeared to downplay teamwork, an essential and indispensable part of an effective military.
    “One” actually was an acronym for “Officers, NCOs, and Enlisted” but that never came across.
    Around Veterans Day 2006, “Army Strong” replaced “Army of One.” According to the Army News Service, “Army Strong,” a 30- and 60-second English-language spot, showcases powerful images from the lives of Soldiers. “Interview,” a 30-second English-language spot, and “Entrevista,” a 30-second Spanish-language spot, feature the story and transformation of a Soldier through his and his parents’ own words.
    “Army Strong” is inspired by the heart of the Army: the Soldier, according to Jonathan Cranin, creative director for McCann Worldgroup, the Army’s marketing communications agency.
    The ads were directed by the person who produced ads for Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Sheryl Crow and Metallica. In other words, the Army bankrolled the ad campaign with big bucks.
    I’m sure you’ve seen “Army Strong.” If you’re among the targets (ages 16–25), what’s your reaction?
    If you are what the military calls an “influencer”—a parent, teacher, or career counselor who can steer a young person toward or away from the military—what do you think?
    If you’ve served in the military, what’s your reaction?

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