Army Appeals to Teens’ Relatives, Mentors

CHICAGO Leo Burnett targets parents, grandparents, teachers and counselors—anyone who might influence a teen’s decision to join the military—in its latest round of advertising for the U.S. Army.

The Chicago agency’s television campaign, which broke during the NCAA basketball tournament last week on CBS, features teens talking to their parents about their career paths. In one spot, a daughter says she wants a job where she can “help people and be incredibly successful.” She continues: “If I gave a hundred people a shot at a different life, then they’d be successful, and that would make me successful.” Her father responds, “Sounds like a nice plan. Someone’s hiring for that?” before an Army logo comes up with the words, “Be a soldier.”

Other spots show a son and his father discussing a career that will provide satisfaction and fulfillment, and a Hispanic teen explaining to his mother how joining the Army will help him afford college. “Though the spots do not employ the “Army of one” tagline, an Army representative said the slogan would appear in future advertising.

The campaign is the agency’s first effort explicitly targeted at people who influence potential recruits. Previously, those individuals had only been reached through general-market spots, while recruits had been targeted with campaigns showcasing an individual soldier’s journey in the Army.