The campaign is called “What’s Your Warrior?” and is courtesy of the service’s Chicago-based marketing team that was stood up this fall.
The new commercial depicts U.S. soldiers from five career paths: a lab tech, a signals troop, an aviator, a cyber operator and a sniper-qualified soldier.
The colors and musical scores used in the advertisement are notably different from past Army commercials, and that’s intentional, according to Brig. Gen. Alex Fink, chief of Army Enterprise Marketing.
“We want to surprise them,” Fink told Army Times in an October preview of the ad campaign.
“What we’ve shown our audience in the past hasn’t surprised them at all,” Fink said. “Soldiers in direct action, combat situations ... they already know that about us.”
GoArmy.com was also revamped for the new campaign.
The homepage now allows prospective recruits to select one of seven ways to describe themselves: wordsmith, mechanic, techie, scientist, engineer, math whiz or problem solver.
Interested recruits can then view Army jobs that correspond to the characteristic they chose. A math whiz selection, for instance, prompts cards to be displayed that outline careers like signals intelligence analyst and geospatial engineer.
The homepage also has a blurb for the new campaign stating: “Your skills can make an impact. Your fight can transform our world. Your will can turn a global challenge into your daily mission. Join forces with us and you can take on anything.”
That message is catered to Generation Z recruits, or those born after 1996. Army leadership has repeatedly said that these young people are looking for a larger mission in life, citing data the service has gathered.
“This generation, as opposed to other generations, it’s a shift. They want to serve something bigger than themselves," Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston said in September. "It may surprise you a little bit.”
The “What’s Your Warrior?" campaign will be laid out in a series of chapters. The Saturday release marks the first chapter that focuses on the “team aspect of service,” Fink previously said. In roughly five months, a second release “will roll out the characters,” he added.
“Chapter two will be about the individual, so we’ll look at each of these folks and we want to try to bring them to life, because they are real soldiers. They’re not models,” Fink said.
Each of the five soldiers have been interviewed and content will be generated in the form of 30-60 second ad spots, online videos, banner ads and other presentation formats to tell their stories.
The campaign is notably different from the “Warriors Wanted” ads launched last year, and which used mostly combat roles to highlight what the Army can offer people for careers.
Army Enterprise Marketing field representatives plan to use data analytics at the local media level to figure out how to place ads and what resonates best with audiences. Roughly 40 percent of the new ads will be distributed through online video, sports and cable, according to Fink. The remainder will be mostly in digital advertising, to include social media.
There’s also an ongoing effort by Army Enterprise Marketing to rebuild the GoArmy.com website by putting in place an analytic capability that can predict behaviors of potential recruits.
“In the future, we want to be able to ... deliver content to a prospect based on their online behavior,” Fink said. “That’s a goal of this eventually. If we have a guy whose last 25 web searches were in the cyber area, we need to deliver an ad focused on cyber.”
“That’s not what we have right now, but that’s what we want to evolve to,” Fink added.