As noted in a previous post, it’s one thing to slap a meaningless tagline like Toyota’s "moving forward" on some print or broadcast ad. It’s quite another to use a tagline that sends an unintentional (and totally unintended) message.
Such is the case with the U.S. Navy tagline that accompanies its newest broadcast commercial. As might be expected, the Navy spot depicts the very cool and cutting-edge activities the enlisted ranks can enjoy. You see them sailing the seven seas, flying the newest fighter jets and interacting with the latest, greatest technology. All of which is well and fine. But, the ad ends with this tagline: "Join the Navy and accelerate your life."
Knowing that more and more Navy personnel are "on the ground" and dealing with the nightmare that is the war in Iraq, my mind immediately went to the unintended double meaning of the Navy tagline. While their marketing folks obviously wanted to convey how a Navy career can move a young person’s career forward, the news headlines tell a different story. So, when I saw the "accelerate your life" tagline flash across the screen, I didn’t think about career growth but, instead, the thousands of young people who served their country well but, sadly, returned home in body bags.
While this tagline worked in terms of getting my attention, I have to believe the obvious double entendre isn’t the kind of message the Navy wants to send. Let’s hope they change it soon.