New TV ads show Marines as good citizens
The Corps is determined to boost its numbers and recruit more women.
san diego» The U.S. Marine Corps no longer needs just a “Few Good Men” as it looks to diversify. The elite force — embroiled in a scandal of online nude photo sharing — is highlighting how its warriors are also good citizens in an advertising campaign aimed at millennials.
In one scene of the TV ads that aired Friday, Marines hoist “Toys for Tots” boxes. In another, real video shows a Marine veteran tackling an armed robber at a convenience store.
The “Battles Won” campaign has been in the works for months, but its release comes as the Marine Corps’ image has taken a beating amid an investigation into nude photos of female Marines posted without their consent on a private Facebook page used by Marines.
The Marine Corps is in the process of trying to boost its numbers and recruit more women, and the new TV ads include clips of women in combat fatigues, though some who viewed the ads said the spots did not do enough to attract more female recruits or show that the Marine Corps culture is changing toward women.
Marine Corps officials said the campaign is not aimed at a particular demographic other than those of recruiting age.
The military’s smallest branch is also considering replacing its iconic tagline — “The Few. The Proud. The Marines,” one of the most successful advertising campaigns of the 20th century.
The short, simple phrase highlighted the elite status given to Marines and drew recruits after the draft in the 1970s. It will continue for now as the Corps’ tagline in materials.
Marine Corps officials said the branch needed a recruitment ad campaign that portrayed who Marines are Marine promotional and why the Corps exists.
“Battles Won” is designed to drive home the message that mental, moral and emotional strength are as important as physical toughness. The campaign focuses on three concepts, fighting selfdoubt, fighting the nation’s battles and fighting for what’s right, officials said.
“It focuses on what we believe is the irreducible essence of a Marine — which is the fighting spirit,” said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, assistant chief of staff, marketing and public affairs at the Marine Corps Recruiting Command. “It’s the promise that we make that if there is a fight in which we engage in, we will win. We’ll win that battle and also become a responsible member of our community post-service.”
Polls have shown millennials value giving back more than previous generations.
The campaign comes as the 182,000-strong Corps wants to add as many as 12,000 more troops and boost the percentage of women among its ranks to about 10 percent.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller acknowledged the nude photo scandal may hurt female recruiting. The force has the lowest percentage of all the services at about 8 percent.
Neller has vowed to hold Marines accountable for the Facebook scandal and acknowledged that changes have to be made in the Marine Corps culture, where some male Marines don't accept women in the ranks.
A Los Angeles marketing specialist, Isaac Swiderski, said the Marines missed the chance to change that with the new campaign. The Corps should have shown women in leadership rather than just struggling in training. “You have to show women in better positions than in these ads,” he said.
This still image from a TV advertisement is part of a new recruitment ad campaign by the Marine Corps, meant to draw millennials by showing Marines as not only strong warriors but good citizens. U.S. Marine Corps