Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Army Recruiting Slogan

The Army, facing another tough recruiting season, launched a $200 million-a-year advertising campaign this month and unveiled a new slogan: "Army Strong."

The campaign's core message is that the Army builds not only physical but also mental and emotional strength in recruits, bonding them into a powerful, close-knit team.

"There's strong, and then there's Army strong," a deep male voice intones as martial music rises from a brass band in the background. ...

Army officials acknowledge that parents and other influential adults are less likely to recommend military service today because of the ongoing conflicts, and surveys have shown that the wars have made some young people more wary of enlisting.

To address these concerns, two of the ads feature the parents of soldiers -- a farming couple and a mechanic and his wife -- whose worries about Army service evolve into pride. "I was pretty nervous, apprehensive," says the father, wearing a 1st Infantry Division cap and standing beside a cornfield.

"If your son or daughter wants to talk with you about joining the Army, listen. You made them strong, we'll make them Army strong," the announcer says in the English and Spanish ads launched on MTV, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and other stations. ...

Asked how they felt about the "Army Strong" pitch, soldiers at the Pentagon had mixed reactions. "I like it because it gives a better picture of what the Army is," said Lt. Col. Wayne Cherry, a liaison officer for the Army's chief of staff. " 'Army Strong' is like a football team, a baseball team."

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Johnson was less enthusiastic. " 'Army Strong' is not telling me anything. It doesn't touch any emotional string," he said. "I don't think it will inspire people."

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