IN A FREE FALL FOR UNCLE SAM | Adweek IN A FREE FALL FOR UNCLE SAM | Adweek
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IN A FREE FALL FOR UNCLE SAM

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In what may go down as the most extreme challenge in advertising history, the U.S. Army this month invited itsminority agencies to demonstrate their teamwork by participating in a tandem parachute jump.

Willing to jump out of an airplane for a new client, Victoria Varela Hudson of Latino marketing firm Cartel Creativo strapped herself to a member of the Army's elite Golden Knights skydiving team and took the plunge.

"At that moment my life depended on him and his life depended on me cooperating with him while catapultingto the ground at over 150 miles per hour," she said.

Developing the Army's new ad campaign was also a "tandem effort," Hudson said.

"The lead agency usually decides the fate of the campaign, then, at best, they pull in agencies to execute minority portions ... to basically translate or adapt it. Then they're surprised when it doesn't work," she said.

This time, Hudson noted, minority shops including San Antonio's Cartel Creativo and Images USA of Atlanta were included in the development of the general campaign.

Said Hudson, "The joke going around here is that the Army told me to jump and I said, 'How high?' "