New TV ads show Marines as good cit­i­zens

The Corps is de­ter­mined to boost its num­bers and re­cruit more women.

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Julie Wat­son

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

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