Think Air Force First

A teenager dives into a river to retrieve a fallen backpack and emerges from the water as a Special Ops Para-rescuer in a new recruitment television spot for the U.S. Air Force.

GSD&M created the ad and three other commercials to demonstrate how potential recruits can apply their talents and passions in the Air Force.

“We came up with the idea because the Air Force [offers] a way you can live your life differently,” said Daniel Russ, agency senior vice president and group creative director. “If you want to be an accountant, the Air Force has accountants. If you want to be a dentist, the Air Force has dentists.”

The 30-second spots introduce “We’ve been waiting for you” as a theme. GSD&M creative director Brian Born describes it as an evolution from the “Cross into the blue” tagline that the Omnicom shop in Austin, Texas, conceived last year and continues to use.

“We wanted to talk to [teenagers] as adults, saying here’s a suggestion, but we’re not going to sell you hard,” Born said. “The military has a way of being heavy-handed, but these spots aren’t.”

Russ said the objective of the campaign is to get teens to consider the Air Force “not as a default, but as a first choice for their career.”

Three of the spots began running last week on national network and cable channels. A fourth ad will break in October.

The campaign also includes print, radio and a mobile marketing exhibit that begins touring the country in November.