Marines Target Politically Active Gen Zs With 'Shifting Threats'

Military recruitment has been a challenge since volunteer service began. The U.S. depends on strong forces to carry out its foreign policy and defend strategic interests.

To sustain its numbers, The United States Marine Corps (USMC), in partnership with Wunderman Thompson Atlanta, kicked off “Shifting Threats,” its latest recruitment effort.

Aimed at Gen Z, the campaign underscores a clear idea: Threats are evolving. It’s the adaptable skill-set of winning Marines that will safeguard us. 

The “Shifting Threats” spot, shot with VFX special effects, posits enemies from any place, often unimaginable, unseeable and undeclared. Marines must be ready. As our operations shift to the cyber, artificial intelligence and hypersonic weapons, quality personnel are key.



The integrated digital campaign spans organic, paid social channels, banners, print, audio and the Marines site. The 60-second spot for cinema and broadcast TV, including NFL games, anchors the work. USMC socials stream on Linked In, Twitter, Facebookand Instagram

 “Gen Z is known for being vocal and active when it comes to political and social justice issues.  This campaign is a rally for this generation to do their part and take charge of the future by protecting our nation,” said Alan Whitley, creative director at Wunderman Thompson Atlanta. 

Jeff Cronenweth, the cinematographer for “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network” shot the ad with real Marines. It also features a musical score by Andrew Christie, produced by Hans Zimmer, who composed the Gladiator” and “Pearl Harbor” scores.

For the prior recruitment campaign “Battle to Belong,” the recall was 21%, the average over three waves, January – June 2021, independently monitored by the Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies.

The Marine Corps met its recruitment goals for fiscal year 2022, making it one of the only service branches this year to reach its target numbers, according to the Marine Times. In total, the Marine Corps recruited 28,608 active-duty enlisted Marines, making its goal by just eight service members.

Similarly, The Navy hits its active-duty enlistment goals, per the Navy Times, but not its number for officers. The Army was short by about 15,000 soldiers, noted Military Times, which is a concern for the Pentagon.

Next story loading loading..