This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

Mar 12, 2012

Marine Corps' Kinder, Gentler Side

Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:23 AM
To: COMUSMARCENT ALL
Subject: New Ads Pitch Marine Corps' Kinder, Gentler Side By Pauline
Jelinek, Associated Press

New Ads Pitch Marine Corps' Kinder, Gentler Side

By Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- They've long been known as devil dogs, leathernecks and "the
first to fight." But U.S. Marines, with their self-described expertise in
"killing people and breaking things," now want to promote their kinder side
as well.

A new Marine Corps advertising campaign starting this weekend takes its cue
from research showing today's recruit-age generation is interested in
helping people. So the campaign is crafted to show Marines not only as
warriors but as humanitarians and peacekeepers; not only as courageous but
also as compassionate.

Photos and videos to be distributed on television, in American movie
theaters, on YouTube and elsewhere show Marines talking with children;
bringing food, water and medical supplies to Haitian earthquake victims, and
clearing rubble from a tsunami-devastated Japanese village. These missions
aren't a new role for the Marines, but they are ones the force expects to do
more of as it's freed from a decade of fighting land wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and returns to its seafaring, expeditionary roots.

Entitled "Toward the Sounds of Chaos," the campaign seeks to explain that in
an uncertain world, Marines "need to be ready to engage in whatever activity
our country needs us to engage in," Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, head of
the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, said in a recent interview.

"That may go all the way from a combat-type environment, as we've been doing
for the last 10 years, to what we did before ... emergent chaotic situations
... catastrophes ... natural disasters or failed-state-type situations where
people need help," he said.

The smallest of the service branches, at 202,000, the Marine Corps trains
and equips itself with the aim of being light and agile enough to get to any
crisis on a moment's notice. They sometimes call themselves "The 911 Force,"
at the ready to restore order, come to the rescue or evacuate those in
danger. A Marine in one of the new advertising videos runs toward an
unidentified city under a smoke-filled sky amid sounds of people screaming.

"There are a few who move toward the sounds of chaos ... toward the sounds
of tyranny, injustice and despair," a voice says. "Which way would you run?"

The question is a subtle appeal to the generation known as millennials, who
said in a survey that they believe in giving back to society, voting in
national elections and "helping people in need, wherever they may live,"
said Marshall Lauck, director of the Marine Corps' advertising account at
JWT ad agency.

The JWT ad agency does year-round research and periodic larger efforts with
the Corps to keep an eye on what the pool of potential American recruits is
thinking. It found in the late 2010 survey of 17- to 24-year-olds that
roughly 70 percent believed helping others was essential to being a good
citizen today.

Only 31 percent of the same 5,000 surveyed thought serving in the military
was important to being a good citizen.

"We have a large number of young people who are very interested in doing
good ... yet they don't necessarily realize that the military in general and
the Marine Corps in particular is a great way to do that," said Lauck, a
former Marine.

The survey included another 5,000 people the military calls "influencers,"
parents, coaches, teachers and similar role models. Many said they had a
very favorable view of the military but did not respond in the same high
numbers on whether they would recommend the services to the young people in
their lives.

The new campaign will launch during the March Madness college basketball
tournament.

"They may not have realized it when they expressed that desire to help
people, but the roles and mission of the Marine Corps today and in the near
future were really converging very specifically with those youth interests"
in the survey, Lauck said. "We saw it immediately ... the convergence."

How many others will see it and embrace the idea is the question.

The Marine Corps has brought in between 30,000 and 40,000 new recruits
annually for most of the last 30 years, recruiting command spokesman Maj.
John O. Caldwell said. The Corps bulked up to 202,000 Marines largely
because of the war in Afghanistan. It's expected to draw back down to
182,100 over the next five years — a loss of several thousand more than it
had planned — in line with federal budget cutting efforts.

Though they'll be drawing down, keeping the Corps supplied with new men and
women is a tough business for the 3,100 Marine recruiters. Recruiters make
roughly 10,000 contacts through phone calls and canvassing to bring in 104
prospects, Caldwell says. That's winnowed down along the way — some change
their minds, others fail to make it through basic training or infantry
school — and ultimately 57 Marines emerge from the process out of the
original 10,000 contacts.

All the services use recruiting ads and all do some kinds of humanitarian
missions. But the current "Army Strong" campaign, started in 2006, focuses
on the development of the individual soldier. The Navy campaign started in
2009 calls the service "A Global Force for Good." Some of the Air Force's
"It's Not Science Fiction" ads have a slick Hollywood feel and are used to
show off technologies, like remotely piloted aircraft, that are used today
but were considered fantasy only years ago. It wasn't immediately clear
whether any other services plan changes to their campaign any time soon.

Though spending can fluctuate over the years, the Marine Corps likes to
budget about $100 million annually for ads and some other recruiting costs

It cost about $3.2 million to produce the new ads for TV, print and the
online effort, Caldwell said.

Of course, many need no prompting to join the Corps, and part of the
recruiting dynamic is managing expectations. There are a lot of young men
and women out there who want to join specifically for "that adventure and
action" that they see in combat operations, Osterman said. "So we want to
make sure that they understand that it's still going to be a very busy world
in front of us, but more on responding to chaos ... than to a traditional
combat role."

The new campaign has plenty for the gung-ho to like. There are familiar
warrior scenes of troops on the go, landing on beaches, firing weapons,
dropping bombs. Some of the video was borrowed from Marines who shot it
themselves in overseas missions, Caldwell said.

The campaign expands on old ones that focused more on the themes of what it
takes to become a Marine, the fact that they come from communities across
the nation and that they protect at home and abroad. It maintains the motto
"Marines. The Few. The Proud."

Lauck said he thinks the new campaign will show people things they may not
have realized the Corps has been doing on a daily basis.

Some may interpret it at first as a sign the Corps is going soft, he said.
"And we would say to that: 'Absolutely not.'"

Intelligence Chief, G-2
HQ Senior Enlisted Advisor
U.S. Marine Forces Central Command
7115 S. Boundary Blvd
MacDill AFB, FL 33621-5101
  

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