Army Strong

The Army is replacing its “Army of One” slogan with “Army Strong.” Apparently, they’ve hired the Incredible Hulk as their new marketing manager.

Here’s the first ad video in the new campaign:

I agree with Andrew Olmsted that it does a “damn good job of capturing some of what makes Army service what it is.” I’m not sure that it’s going to be particularly effective at convincing high school students (the presumptive target audience) to join the Army, though, with its stirring instrumental music and the flashing of slogans on the screen without voiceover.

Not only was “Be All You Can Be” a much better slogan but the ads were much better. Shots of paratroopers doing what they do and the assertion that “We do more before 9 am than most people do all day” was simply more adrenaline-packed than the current wave.

None of the Army campaigns, though, match up to any of the ones put out by the Marine Corps. Their ads, without fail, are appealing the kind of young man who could make it through Paris Island. The Army is at the disadvantage of having to recruit a lot more people to do a much wider variety of tasks.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    My dad (Army, Korean & Vietnam) liked to tease the Marines, but he was always willing to give them credit for one thing — getting people to *volunteer* to be shock infantry.

  2. James Joyner says:

    It is a bizarre paradox of military service that the people in the most gruelling jobs tend to have the highest esprit–partly because they get so much satisfaction about bragging about how much harder they have it than everybody else.

  3. Wayne says:

    I think it is much better than “Army of One” or even “be all you can be”. They were trying to be too cute with those terms. “Army of one” was a total disgrace and disaster, especially some of their commercial depicting it.

    Army Strong is a great contrast with all the weak-knee politicians and whatnots that we are expose to on such a regular bases.

  4. Wayne says:

    The reason ones that do the most grueling jobs having the highest esprit de corps is that not everyone can do those jobs, at least not able to do them right. Therefore the ones that don’t have it in them get wash out. Of course some can be force to do it but they seldom do it right.

  5. “None of the Army campaigns, though, match up to any of the ones put out by the Marine Corps.”

    Man, Marine Corps commercials universally piss me off because every single time I see one, even if I’ve seen it before, I start get get all excited about the new totally awesome fantasy movie I’m convinced they’re advertising. Then it turns out to be just another Marine Corps ad.

    Though it’s obnoxious, my reaction is a pure testimony to how good those ads are.

  6. Just Me says:

    I think Army of One was one of the lamest from the Army.

    I also agree that the Marine Corps does the best with their ads.

  7. I think this is a much better ad campaign (though I am sure not the target market). The army of one stressed individualism to much when the army is about team work (even if the team is just a single squad). I agree with Newquist that this seems much more like a movie advertisement than anything else. The only difference was you didn’t recognize an actor and there were lots of characters in the cast (showing the diversity of what they are trying to recruit). I also think it hits a bunch of the buttons for the teenager. Physically strong, being part of a team, respect from elders, success after the army, etc. Plus getting to “do neat things” like rappelling out of a helicopter.

    The only buttons I didn’t see it pressing are hit with other commercials (like the father talking about how much his son has changed for the better).

  8. SGT Bryan V says:

    I am an Army recruiter currently and what is funny is I am reading alot of this, especially about the USMC commercials. One thing that some of you fail to realize is this, look at every USMC commercial. Do you ever see them talk about college, jo training, careers? nope. Just a guy climbing a mountain kicking a bag and slaying a dragon. And then woah, is a marine. Whew, thats something I want. just a uniform, no training, careeer college etc. Think about that, this is why the Army takes a different approach to these videos than the marines.