Walter Mencken 9:21 p.m., Oct. 20
Navy finds recruitment slogan fails to connect
Nearly three years after introducing a new recruiting slogan, the U.S. Navy has discovered through a $40,000 focus group study targeting sailors and officers in San Diego and Norfolk, Virginia, that the tagline hasn’t been as effective as top brass might have hoped.
“America’s Navy: A global force for good” was rolled out in September 2009 with commercials featuring the San Diego home-ported USNS Mercy, and attempted to impart a “sense of service” on the recruitment-age youth it targeted.
“I've got an 18-year-old daughter, and from a dad perspective, it's great to see my young daughter thinking beyond herself. They're not the selfish ‘me generation.’ It's, ‘what can I do to make the world a better place?’ That resonates through that age group,” said Senior Chief Mass Communications Specialist Tom Jones, a spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command, at the time.
Researchers from Gallup find that’s not quite true, Navy Times reports.
“It doesn’t do anything for me. It does nothing. . . . If you ask a group of sailors, they wouldn’t even know what it meant,” says an unnamed senior enlisted in the San Diego group.
Higher up the chain of command, Navy officers still believe in the marketing campaign.
“We’re not just out there to put warheads on poor heads,” offered a captain based in San Diego. “We certainly can . . . but the humanitarian assistance is shaping all that.”
The Navy has not yet decided to launch a new rebranding campaign. The previous slogan, “Accellerate your life,” was used from 2001 to 2009.
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