We’re Looking For a Few Goo…Uh, Warm Bodies

Back in 2002, as we were preparing to go to war in Iraq, I showed my book at an agency who had a branch of the military as one of its accounts. I asked the CD point blank, “So how is impending war affecting the account? I mean, it’ll get harder to meet recruitment goals with this current ad campaign.” He replied “It’s not really changing anything, but it is getting harder to get on the bases–security is a lot tighter.”
I knew right then he was full of shit, or living in a dreamworld, either one.
Today’s New York Times has a fascinating look at the military’s marketing efforts:

The war in Iraq represents the latest watershed in the shaping of public perception of the military and military service. But as the government and ad agencies gear up their marketing machinery to stave off the recruitment shortfall and avoid possibly having to resurrect the draft, they are encountering a promotional hurdle: the perception that serving in the armed forces means more than merely coming in harm’s way. Service, in the eyes of many potential recruits and their families, may mean death.

Check out the article. Because I can’t think of a tougher marketing challenge. For any client. Ever.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.