In its attempt to increase recruitment in the light of an unpopular war, the U.S. Army has abandoned its old "Army of One" slogan and adopted a new tagline, "Army Strong."
According to McCann-Erickson, which created the new campaign, "Army Strong" reinforces the desire of recruits to become physically strong as a result of their enlistment.
"The whole idea really embodies the spirit of U.S. Army soldiers, how they feel about the Army and what people who are considering joining the Army want from that experience," said Eric Keshin, COO of McCann Worldgroup.
Um, OK, well maybe some recruits do want to build their physical stamina as a result of enlisting. But, there have to be safer, less dangerous ways to add bulk and build cardiovascular fitness than dodging roadside bombs and snipers in Iraq.
With the daily horrific news reports that are flooding our airwaves, print journals and web sites, you’d think the Army would develop a slogan that either tells it like it is (and supports the patriotic sacrifices being made by our soldiers. Maybe something like "In it for the long haul") or admits that, according to most experts, the Army is undermanned and not able to "police" danger spots other than Iraq (so, maybe "Army Stretched" would make more sense. And that tagline might also attract recruits who are more interested in gaining flexibility than bulking up).
The strength and effectiveness of any slogan or positioning line lies in its credibility. That is, does it "ring true" with audiences? Based upon daily news reports, "Army Strong" doesn’t cut it and won’t accomplish the military’s goal of adding 80,000 new soldiers in the coming year.
So, unless there are hundreds of regiments of Arnold Schwarzenegger wanna-be’s just graduating from high school, I think the Army’s slogan will fall on deaf ears (and undersized biceps).
Thanks to Ann Barlow for this idea.