Royal Marines turn to youth specialist Cake

The Royal Marines, currently on the ground in Iraq, have taken the unusual step of hiring one of London's trendiest youth agencies in a campaign to sign up young recruits.

The Marines are using Cake to manage their first recruitment PR campaign.

It will promote 'exciting' aspects of the job, such as travel, sport and fitness, to entice 16 to 20-year-olds.

Cake - best known for promoting consumer brands such as Reebok and Nintendo - will target men's lifestyle media in a 12-month campaign to eliminate apparant 'cynicism' about joining up.

The agency aims to cement the Marines' standing as an elite corps and position them as part of the Royal Navy - not the Army as is often thought - said Cake CEO Mike Mathieson.

Promotion of life in the Marines will focus on aspects such as its soldiers' healthy diets to entice young males to be one of the 1,140 recruits taken on each year.

Mathieson said: 'There is a cynical view about the forces among those considering joining and their peers. People think they are going to the melting pot of war, but the reality is more than just patrols in Iraq.'

The Marines turned to recruitment PR for a 'discreet influence' to counter negative peer pressure, he added.

The campaign will complement ads that broke in February with the strapline '99.9 per cent need not apply'.

The contract is Cake's first from the Central Office of Information since joining its roster (PRWeek, 19 November 2004). It beat Band & Brown Communications, Lexis PR and Kazoo in a pitch (PRWeek, 18 February).

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