Army tries new slogan in push to woo recruits

WASHINGTON: US Army Secretary Francis Harvey on October 9 unveiled "Army Strong," a new slogan for its recruiting efforts, at a conference in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON: US Army Secretary Francis Harvey on October 9 unveiled "Army Strong," a new slogan for its recruiting efforts, at a conference in Washington, DC.

The tagline is the Army's seventh in the past 33 years, since Congress mandated an all-volunteer force.

"The campaign very much focuses on the individual stories of our soldiers," said Paul Boyce, a US Army public affairs specialist at the Pentagon. "It profiles a few of those heroes and gives details about what you can expect in the military today if you choose to join."

The bulk of the funds from a two-year, $200 million annual contract awarded last December to McCann Erickson will go toward TV advertising that begins officially on November 9, Veteran's Day.

Weber Shandwick is handling PR for the overall contract, which will include sponsorships at community activities like NASCAR races or rodeos. Both WS and McCann Erickson are Interpublic Group agencies.

The new "Army Strong" campaign also includes changes to materials posted on the www. goarmy.com Web site and direct marketing materials provided to prospective recruits.

WS EVP Eric Pehle said the Internet, including both the Army Web site and military and other types of blogs, will play a huge role in connecting with prospective recruits.

"If individuals [or their families] want to connect with soldiers online, we'll be looking for opportunities to do that, to create that peer-to-peer dialogue with soldiers online," Pehle said.

Some military policy experts have been critical of the Army's previous slogan, "An Army of One," saying it misrepresented the Army as group of individuals rather than a team. In response, Boyce pointed out that all previous six campaigns by the Army have had a theme of both "personal empowerment and teamwork," and that the new slogan simply reflects the need for any kind of campaign to evolve over time.

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