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.
So far, we haven’t lost any junior AE’s to the Navy, but you never know. Also, I-man, if I had the time to send these blogs out to individuals in the relevant sectors/industries, I would. Alas, though, I have a day job.
It’s a little better than “An Army of One” which maybe is the direction in which we’re heading if recruitment continues the way it’s going.
Unfortunately I believe the audience is small town kids with a limited education so chances are your Junior Acct. Execs are probably not composing a letter of resignation in order to sign up. Or are they?
interesting b/c i read that and thought the exact same thing you did after thinking about it for a second. but based on the positioning work you do, and coming up with a position you can “own” what would you recommend- something like “US Navy- you might succeed, or you might fight the battle and come home in a body bag?”
i think the double meaning might have been an oversight, but the regular meaning is fitting for the navy in so many ways.
as an aside, i think it would be very interesting for this blog if you sent the topic du jour to someone in the field for a counterpoint. meaning, if you write about ads, send the blog to an ad guy to remark (much like dave bray did). would love to hear an expert debate the points as opposed to a salesman like myself doing so.