GSD&M Brings Back ‘Aim High’ for the Air Force

By Erik Oster 

GSD&M has a new campaign for the Air Force, bringing back the slogan “Aim High,” after a fifteen year absence.

The campaign, entitled “American Airmen,” launched Monday with two spots and a website. In “New Frontiers,” Airforce Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III becomes the first Air Force general to be featured in an advertisement. The 30-second spot seeks to inspire with a celebration of technological innovation from the Air Force, such as breaking the sound barrier, and space exploration. “America’s Future,” meanwhile, draws on U.S. Air Force Academy commencement speeches from former Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.


The campaign also includes online video content entitled “Barrier Breakers’ hosted on the Air Force website, and a multi-platform digital media buy, which will make the Air Force the first military branch to partner with PlayStation via a link on the PlayStation store menu. It will also make use of mobile advertising platform TapJoy and Spotify, where “users will view ‘Barrier Breakers’ video content while a custom playlist generator suggests music based on their current selections.”

The campaign arrives as the Air Force faces bad publicity for its decision to deny reenlistment to an atheist airman for refusing to sign an oath including the phrase “So help me God.”


Agency: GSD&M
Client: U.S. Air Force
Launch Date: 9/8/2014

Group Creative Director: Tom Gilmore, Jeff Maki
Creative Director/AD: Christopher Colton
Creative Director/Writer: Travis Waid
Associate CD/AD: Cheyenne Gallion
Executive Producer: Paul Gallardo
Producer: Peter Atherton, Tommy White
Business Affairs: Jo Ella Mathis
Account Director: Norah Rudyk, Bo Bradbury
Account Supervisor: Elissa Pate
Project Management: Lisa Valencia
Experience and Insights: Elizabeth Thompson
Information Technology: Jerry Rios, Lisa McIntyre
Associate Media Director: Jacqueline Coffey
Sr. Social Media Manager: Caitlin McDaniel
Media Planners: Diana Jimenez, Meredith Cooper
Assistant Media Planners: Emma Lacouture, Paige Gummere
SEM Analyst: Yilan Zhu

Production Company: Digital Kitchen
Executive Creative Director: Matt Mulder
Creative Director: Josh Hayward
Executive Producer: Sarah Shipley
Producer: Paul Williamson
Editor: Camille Durand, Slavka Kuehn
Compositors: Tim Little, Kaleb Coleman
Designer: Joe Lawrence
Composer: Travis + Maude
Sound Design: Jay Nierenberg

Production Company: BLK MKT Studios
Director: Mike Woolf
Director/DP: Andrew Yates
Producer: Kim Palmer, Holly Millar

Editorial Company: BLK MKT Studios
Editor: Jason Blair
Asst Editor: Kevin Ray
Producer: Serena Melero
Colorist: Nick Smith, Finland Finish
Audio: Marty Lester, Everywhere Audio

Production Company: Sons of Zeus