Straight Outta Compton Baghdad

I can hear myself presenting, as if I was on the Army account…
“Guys, we need to up the reality. As you know we live in a time where reality TV is king. So, it’s important that we too get gritty, we need some dirt on our hands. Let me send a documentary team to Iraq and we”ll put what really happens up on YouTube when we’re done. Sound good?”
According to Stuart Elliott of the Times, The Army did hear a pitch like that, and now they’re acting on it.
The Army is advancing its recruiting efforts by bringing video of real soldiers deployed in Iraq into teenager’s homes in KY, OH, TX and elsewhere across this great land. And the brass is making some of these real soldiers available to answer tough questions from potential recruits.
…Justin from Texarkana wants to how many times you’ve fired on the enemy this week
Using new tools is one prong of the attack, using time tested methods is another. Look at this expert manipulation of language: Straight from Iraq. Yes, America, your Army is now embracing transparency and social networking. Because the internet dared them to.
Then there’s the photo realism:
Hey, the Army is a tough sell. To do it right would take amazing discipline and will. Clearly they need to bring new media to the table, but some of new media’s better offerings will be hard to execute for this particular brand. That’s all I’m saying.
p.s. It’s Veteran’s Day. Yes, on a Tuesday.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.