Navy finds recruitment slogan fails to connect

Nearly three years after introducing a new recruiting slogan, the U.S. Navy has discovered through a $40,000 focus group study targeting sailors and officers in San Diego and Norfolk, Virginia, that the tagline hasn’t been as effective as top brass might have hoped.

“America’s Navy: A global force for good” was rolled out in September 2009 with commercials featuring the San Diego home-ported USNS Mercy, and attempted to impart a “sense of service” on the recruitment-age youth it targeted.

“I've got an 18-year-old daughter, and from a dad perspective, it's great to see my young daughter thinking beyond herself. They're not the selfish ‘me generation.’ It's, ‘what can I do to make the world a better place?’ That resonates through that age group,” said Senior Chief Mass Communications Specialist Tom Jones, a spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command, at the time.

Researchers from Gallup find that’s not quite true, http://www.navytimes.com/article/20130904/NEWS/309090007">Navy Times reports.

“It doesn’t do anything for me. It does nothing. . . . If you ask a group of sailors, they wouldn’t even know what it meant,” says an unnamed senior enlisted in the San Diego group.

Higher up the chain of command, Navy officers still believe in the marketing campaign.

“We’re not just out there to put warheads on poor heads,” offered a captain based in San Diego. “We certainly can . . . but the humanitarian assistance is shaping all that.”

The Navy has not yet decided to launch a new rebranding campaign. The previous slogan, “Accellerate your life,” was used from 2001 to 2009.


Hmm. Both this and the previous slogan missed me completely. And while I'm not anyone they are trying to reach--due to advanced age--I do tend to see recruiting ads when they are obviously attempting to recruit. The Marines always have something that has a clear message, and I notice theirs.

But I can't help remember the lamest slogan of all, the one the Army had about a decade ago. That was the lunatic statement "An Army of One". I guess it was supposed to tell a potential recruit that there were things you would get out of service of value to yourself, and that you could exert some control over your training and assignment. Instead it was incoherent. Anyone planning to serve in the military needs to know that they will be part of a team, and that without teamwork, nothing good will result. An army of individualists, all "doing their own thing" will be a disaster. A recruit who heads into any branch of service thinking that he/she is anything less than a cog in a bigger system is bound to be sorely disappointed, alienated, and will want out.

Reminds me too of the only military recruiting posters I saw a few years ago in New Zealand. They were of serving as an army nurse to do humanitarian work in some place like, I supposed, Afghanistan. NZ has an army, sort of, too small to even defend the islands, and they recruit for uniformed nurses to do good in the world!

Wake up folks; armies, navies and air forces are for breaking things and killing people. On rare occasions they get the chance to be helpful, and that's great. But that's not why we have 'em. We have them to beat up and beat our enemies.

How about, The United States Navy -- A Place for Lovers!

Join the Navy! No sleeping in mud and your kitchen goes with you!

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