I remember entering the Army with the venerable advertising slogan, “be all that you can be” — that was an awesome theme. Then it was dumped for what I thought was the most horrific of marketing themes EVER: “Army of One.” Y’all remember the commercial showing the Soldier with no helmet, no camp blouse top, no weapon, and he was running in the opposite direction of the troops, tanks, attack helicopters? When we were asked our interpretation, I remember a Command Sergeant Major saying, “that boy is a deserter.” But for some, I guess that could mean he was serving with “honor and distinction.”Army of One didn’t last long. Then came “Army Strong,” which I kinda liked. The tagline was, “There is strong and then there is Army Strong.” Kinda neat, and the music was much better.
Well, now there’s a new theme and marketing strategy, and I must admit, based on this initial 60-second commercial, I like it.
As reported by the Military Times, “Can you sum up your service, your commitment, your strength in a marketing slogan, five words or less, encapsulating everything the Army has and ever hopes to stand for? Don’t sweat it. Army officials didn’t think so, either. The service’s latest 60-second commercial debuted Monday, featuring black-and-white photos over stirring narration and music, offering glimpses of many aspects of service and sacrifice, and extolling the virtues of joining “the Army team.”“It ended without the “Army Strong” tagline — a phrase soldiers will continue to see in internal Army communications, but one that’s ended a nine-year run as the familiar face of Army branding after research showed civilians didn’t buy in. “Our job is to market the Army [to the public],” Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing and the director of the Army Marketing and Research Group, said in a Wednesday interview. ” ‘Army Strong’ just didn’t resonate with them. You’d either get an ‘eh’ sort of response, or you’d get an, ‘Of course you’re strong. You’re supposed to be. You’re in the Army.’
I understand the whole marketing thing but the best marketing tool is to be winning on the battlefield.
This past weekend ISIS slaughtered some 100 Yazidi men, women, and elderly. What we need is an Army that isn’t being reduced down to 1939 pre-World War II conscription levels. What we need is leadership that is concise and clear in conveying its guidance and directives. And let me be blunt — we don’t need anyone saying “Ramadi is not symbolic.”I understand the apology but that statement should not have been made.
Yes, the title of Soldier is one I will ALWAYS cherish. And I do enjoy those deranged despicable chuckleheads who seek to disparage my twenty-two years of service. What matters most is that I earned a descriptor that can NEVER be taken away — American Soldier.And yes, I like the new ad and the concept of being on the “Army Team.”