United States Marine is not a title given lightly, and a new recruitment campaign emphasizes the "The Few" that make it into the Corps to become "The Proud."
The new campaign, called "America's Few," features national print, television and online advertising as well as digital mall signage, placement on in-school television networks and social media Web sites. The effort, from JWT Atlanta, is intended to build on a previous campaign called "America's Marines" that depicted Marines in their dress blues standing at iconic American landscapes. The new effort takes that a step further, stressing the quality of recruits and the Corps' training program.
"We had been talking about the purpose of service, with a symbolic line of Marines standing from sea to shining sea," Marshall Lauck, management director of JWT Atlanta, tells Marketing Daily. "That showed [recruits] what they would do as Marines. Now we need to show them what it takes to be a part of that."
The new television commercial features three actual Marines: LCpl. Oscar Franquez, Jr., LCpl. Benjamin Lee, and LCpl. Martin McCallum. The commercial begins with each of them running in their home neighborhoods -- a cornfield, the suburbs and a city street -- before quick-cutting to the grueling training that recruits must endure, including running, swimming in full combat-gear, hand-to-hand combat and obstacle courses. "Many will hear the calling, few will earn the title," says a voiceover, before ending with the Marines' familiar "The Few. The Proud" tagline.
"It's in your face. It's gritty and it's more in your face than the previous advertising," Maj. Christian Devine, the Marines' national director of public affairs, tells Marketing Daily. "We want to give people a sneak peek of the challenges they'll face."
The commercial has been airing during professional and college football broadcasts and will continue through the fall season. CBS' "NFL Today" show also has intercut scenes of the recruitment commercial with NFL footage for more integration, Lauck says. JWT redesigned the Marines' home page to feature stills from the commercial and to direct viewers to a series of online videos (which have been available on the site for about six months) called "12 Weeks," a series highlighting the 12-week training program.
"It's a natural fit that as we showcase the experience of training to walk them through that program," Lauck says.