New Marine Corps Spots Timed for War’s Start

ATLANTA The Marine Corps today released its newest TV commercial “For Country,” a documentary-style look at Marines preparing for battle.

The 60- and 30-second spots from J.Walter Thompson’s Atlanta office will launch tonight on CBS during NCAA basketball programming.

Sources said the recruitment work was purposely held to coincide with the start of the war against Iraq.

“The decision was made some weeks ago to start the [commercials] tonight,” said agency president Jeff White. “We anticipated that the country might go to war and wanted the spot to start before the war started, but not too far ahead.”

Speaking to the timing of the spots, White said the message was thought to be appropriate. “It’s a less overt recruiting message and appropriate to the mindset that people would have if we were either anticipating war or if war happened.”

Plans call for the commercial to run through the spring, along with current work called “Climb,” which features scenes of Marines scaling a mountain.

Shot by Klaus Obermeyer of Areo in Santa Monica, Calif., “For Country” follows Marines through a multitude of duties, from recruit training to an airborne assault. Three onscreen titles are interspersed among the quick-cut footage: “For Honor,” “For Courage, “For Country.” The spot ends with the 27-year-old tagline, “The few. The proud.”