US Navy Taps YouTube Creators for Sailor VS Recruitment Campaign

The influencer marketing effort is aimed at showcasing its diversity of jobs

The campaign features challenges between YouTube Creators and actual sailors U.S. Navy/YouTube

The U.S. Navy is enlisting YouTube Creators to aid its recruitment efforts with influencer marketing campaign Sailor VS.

The campaign’s goal is to showcase the diversity of jobs available throughout the Navy, and it features challenges between YouTube Creators and actual sailors.

Creative agency VMLY&R led the development of the campaign, while Portal A produced the series.

YouTube said the Navy found that young adults are increasingly difficult to reach through traditional media, such as television ads, and it recognized the growth of the influencer market and the enthusiasm fans have for their favorite creators.

Creators participating in Sailor VS include:

Bob Clagett left his job as a software engineer five years ago to “make stuff.” A U.S. Navy Seabee challenges him to make a mobile shelter in order to aid in disaster response, and Clagett then faces off against a crew of Seabees in a challenge to build with scarce resources.

Kristina Schiano, a self-taught drummer from Brooklyn, covers one of the U.S. Navy Brass Band’s songs and then joins forces with the band to perform one of their favorite tracks.

Peter Sripol is a self-taught builder with a deep passion for engineering who has built things including airplanes, boats, robots and submarines. He levels up his F-18 model plane build with the help of an aviation machinist’s mate, who then challenges him to a virtual speed test to clear engine parts for takeoff.

Joshua Weissman, a chef from a fine-dining background who now produces videos in his home kitchen, invites a Navy culinary specialist into that kitchen in a challenge to cook a traditional military dish, and the two then square off to see how much Chicken Cacciatore they can make. This video will be posted to Weissman’s channel Wednesday (Sept. 23). David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.