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Marines change recruiting pitch to include humanitarian missions

•, By Tony Perry



After a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps is tweaking its recruiting pitch to emphasize not just combat prowess but also the Marines’ involvement in humanitarian missions.

A new 60-second television commercial, “Toward the Sounds of Chaos,” is set to make its debut on ESPN during Saturday’s Big 12 championship basketball game. A shortened version will be shown in theaters. Similarly themed materials will be deployed to social media sites and recruiters’ offices.

Filmed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, the commercial reinforces the Marines’ image as a fighting force ready to confront America’s enemies "at a moment’s notice." But it also subtly suggests that the Marines are equally ready to help when disaster, natural or man-made, strikes.

The same message is delivered more overtly on the Marine Corps website, which includes mini-videos of Marines in earthquake-stricken Haiti and tsunami-ravaged Japan. (There's also a video of Marines fighting Taliban in Afghanistan.)

The television commercial and other materials are the result of polling and research done by advertising firms that produce the Marine Corps’ recruiting materials: J. Walter Thompson and Hill-Knowlton Strategies, both headquartered in New York. The Marine Corps has an annual advertising budget of approximately $100 million.

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