The Call of Duty

The heart of the armed forces is its soldier. Can't have no soldier without recruitment. And the best way to recruit new soldier is by selling the armed forces through good advertisement. I get this idea after seeing U.S Navy's advertisement in a video game magazine.Sorry due to the low quality of the picture, but I'm gonna tell what's on the writing below the image of that machine. It says:

"Because bomb-sniffing does not work well underwater"

Then those tiny letters on the lower part of the picture says:

"It locates and destroys underwater mines at the command of an operator who's nowhere in the vicinity. And it's just one example of the cutting-edge technology you'll be able to get your hands on when you become a proud part of the U.S. Navy. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-USA-NAVY"

This is what I called good piece of advertisement. It delivers the message just right, it understands the target, packaged and placed in the proper media.

This advertisement is placed on a Video Game Magazine. As we all know, joining the Navy means that you are going to get your ass whoop the Rambo style. I heard stories that they will drown you to find out that you actually, well...drowned. Now people who played video games, as we can imagine with our wildest imagination, are hard to drag and trained with military 101 lesson. So you can't just put an advertisement saying "Join the Navy, and we'll train all day long!" or "Join the Navy, then you could only Play at your Station" or maybe "Join the Navy, and we'll drown you!". People who are addicted to video games are tends to be the one with high interest of technology. They want to try new toys, exciting things, but minus the training and drowning. So tell them to join the Navy. But isn't normal human brain will relate Navy with usual armed forces discipline and training? or worst, Pearl Harbor? Then don't tell those thing on the advertisement. Just like the advertisement above, tell those gamers that Navy is giving out new toys! Therefore the chance of those gamers pissing their pants even before they line up to get a military style haircut might be reduced (giving more stylish cut could also help them not to wet their pants actually).

Another piece of advertisement I founds on the internet is this:
Yup, don't need to tell you what's the writing there. I don't really know where is this advertisement is being put, but I think that it is perfect to be put in a store selling hiking/backpacking stuffs. You probably already see the big idea of this advertisement. It's to tell those adventure lover that by joining the Navy, instead of spending your money on travel cost, you'll get free adventure and getting paid as a soldier! It's basically an all win situation for you! And an all win situation is what everyone is looking for. Maybe an advertisement in a fishing equipment store would say that the Navy would lead you to great fishing spot all over the world.

In the Documentary movies made by Michael Moore, the Fahrenheit 9/11, it shows how the recruitment officer of U.S Navy tries to convince this dude who like music. The conversation goes very much like this:

Military Recruitment Officer aka Military Dude: Hey, wanna join the Navy?
Music Dude: emmmmm, I don't know
Military Dude: Well, what are the things that you like the most?
Music Dude: emm, music? playing bands...
Military Dude: oh, by joining the Navy, you can play in the Navy's band, you'll have concert all around the world! sound interesting?
Music Dude: I guess so...

So the Navy is suddenly become a place to conduct your hobby instead of defending your country. Not that it is something wrong though, because the Military Dude's main concern is how to get more people (sounds like a Multi-Level Marketing) in any means necessary allowed by the law. Is it working? well at least the music dude is guessing that Navy is indeed interesting.

Now let's see a recruitment pamphlet on from my country
Looks a bit boring...and I haven't seen any advertisement not the similar type as this one. Don't mind the requirements on the right side, its just the stiff looking people on the left side of the picture is creating this not fun atmosphere. the only good news of this advertisement is that it clearly states the free of charge registration.

I think that these day's recruitment advertising does not have to look so patriotic. Because each and every people already have their own definition of a patriot. Even George W. Bush claimed that he is a patriot. So blowing up issues on patriotism is somehow out of date. You have to make the Armed forces at least looks exciting. Therefore, instead of saying that you'll get your ass whoop Rambo style no matter what, the Navy say that it would be an adventure. Instead of saying that you might get your butt shot by Somalian Pirates, the Navy says that you'll get your hands on the latest technology. The Navy tells you that you'll sniff the underwater bomb, without saying that the bomb might sniff back at you (and boom!). It all comes down to which way recruits more people.


adit said...

but that's how most advertisements is Gung, in the old country, even the commercial ones

some of them are pretty lame. look at its pattern, if you see adverts outside, they love the idea of "slogan"-ing their product, whereas we dont..

and besides in our country we dont need adverts for people to join up,, 500.000 count of the armed forces shows demand is quite high hahaha