Advertisements are one of the key ways the armed services reach America’s youth.
How effective are these ads?
How accurately do they portray what military life is like?
This week on OurValues.org, we’re talking about youth and the military (scroll down to see this week’s posts). Today, we consider the role of direct advertising to America’s youth:
“I’ve noticed that a number of very professionally produced commercials have been appearing on television recently,” a regular OurValues.org emailed me. “These directly address the parents of potential recruits.
Here’s one of them on YouTube.
Military ads on television are unavoidable. Many offer the military as a career choice—as if the military, hotel management, and stock brokerage were equal alternatives. Many ads portray an image of military life as an extended Outward Bound—only more fun, with much better toys.
But do these ads work? Can America’s youth recall military slogans? Recall is an important indicator of an ad campaign’s effectiveness, whether you’re selling soap or the military.
America’s youth recognized the slogans Be All You Can Be (Army) and Aim High (Air Force) more than any others, according to research conducted a number of years ago. They didn’t recall the slogans of the Joint Services, Coast Guard, Air Force Reserve, or National Guard.
How do you feel about military advertisements to America’s youth?
Do they present an accurate picture of military life?
Is it OK to use sophisticated marketing techniques to sell the military?
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