The Army Learns How To Shop Its Brand

Given that the Bush/Cheney administration abused the military and the nation’s trust by leading us into war on false pretenses, recruiting young men and women to serve in the armed services is a tough chore today. Which is why the Army is busy developing new marketing weapons.
According to Adweek, the Army is spending $12 million to develop an experiential marketing campaign that deploys in malls.

Unlike recruitment centers in office complexes, the center is surrounded by retail stores and designed to look hip and modern, with giant plasma screen televisions, brushed stainless steel fixtures, interactive displays, helicopter and Humvee simulators, a gaming area and a cafe.
“It’s not a recruiting center,” said Army chief marketing officer Edward Walters. “It’s really a place for the American public to get educated about the Army and for us to show that the Army is very high-tech and relevant.”
Staffing the center are 20 Army soldiers and a handful of civilians. But instead of military uniforms, the soldiers will wear polo shirts and khakis.

El Segundo, Calif.-based agency Ignited developed the technology and design of the center.
Walters is a former Kraft Foods brand manager who became CMO about a year ago.



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.