The U.S. Army has launched an extension of its Army Strong campaign — Officership — to generate a better understanding of military life and opportunities through a mix of videos, rich media ads and blog posts.
The newest TV ad, which can also be found on YouTube, is called, “A Mentality.” According to the Army, it’s focused on the African-American community and engaging prospects through real officer testimonial. It has 1,400 views since it was posted on January 3.
The Army launched a similar ad, “Badges,” which is focused on the Hispanic community, in October. It has 462 views.
The Officership campaign also includes video ads on YouTube, Facebook and GoArmy.com to drive viewers to a subsection of the website, where they can explore specific paths to officership.
In addition, rich media ads on sites like BET, Interactive One and Vibe will appear in February. They will expand to video and/or graphics when rolled over and highlight the incentives of pursuing a career as an Army officer — or, more specifically, the leadership skills and educational benefits of pursuing an Army career.
Officership will also feature blog posts on Army Strong Stories from Major Myles B. Caggins, III, who is in the Mentality video, and 1st Lieutenant Ricardo Romo, who is in the Badges video.
Started in 2008, Army Strong Stories is the Army’s official soldier blog and storytelling program with video and written posts from soldiers, family members, friends and supporters. It also features content created by the Army’s brand journalism program, Army Strong Network. In the new blog posts, the Army will highlight the importance of its education and career opportunities by what it calls leveraging a stronger leadership message directed toward African-American and Hispanic males.
Bloggers for Army Strong Stories include more than 1,000 soldiers, cadets and supporters. There are more than 5,900 posts to date.
“Army Strong Stories is soldiers telling their stories in their own words and is kind of a dramatic departure from where we started and how the Army considers social media,” says John Myers, Director of Marketing for Army Marketing and Research Group. “Five years ago, a lot of leaders were apprehensive about letting soldiers speak their minds primarily due to fears of information assurance and the security aspects of communicating online. But through the example of some really remarkable 3- and 4-star leaders, [the Army now understands] it’s a medium where prospects and influencers live and we have to communicate on their terms.”
The Army says the new spots reinforce messages of strength and leadership.
“The basis for the campaign is to address the Army’s need to attract high-quality officers — minority officers specifically,” Myers says. “We want to highlight the Army is looking for great leaders and we will develop all the qualities of leadership. We do that very, very well. If you want to make the Army a career, we will continue that process of education and training to suit the particular advancement/grade we would expect from enlisted officers.”
Produced by McCann Worldgroup and Carol H. Williams Advertising, the Army says A Mentality is one of the first ads launched by its new marketing and research group based in Washington, D.C.