Army wins Effie Awards
Gold and Silver Effie Award winners for the U.S. Army's Virtual Army Experience are left to right: David Lock (Ignited, LLC); Brynn Harris (Ignited, LLC); John Carlisle (Ignited, LLC); John Truscott (Ignited, LLC); Maj. Michael Marty (Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis); Eric Johnson (Ignited, LLC); Ben Brackett (Ignited, LLC); Col. Casey Wardynski (Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis); Margaret Moten (Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis); and Frank Blackwell (Software Engineering Directorate).

NEW YORK (Army News Service, June 15, 2009) -- The U.S. Army was honored June 3 with three Effie Awards for brand marketing success at the 41st annual Effie Awards ceremony.

The awards are a global symbol of achievement that recognizes all forms of marketing communication that contribute to a brand's success, honoring communication ideas that produce results for clients. The Effies are regarded by advertisers and advertising agencies as the industry's preeminent awards.

The three Effie Awards received by the Army included a gold Effie for "The Virtual Army Experience," in the government/institutional/recruitment category. The Virtual Army Experience is a traveling exhibit providing participants a virtual test drive of the Army. It contains a computer game, rendered with state-of-the-art Army training simulation technology, that creates a life-size, networked virtual world that immerses visitors in the world of soldiering.

"More than ever before, today's audience is drawn to brands they can interact and connect with on a more personal level," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of U.S. Army Accessions Command. "We want our prospects to experience the Army brand in a relevant way, so we infuse experiential opportunities into all of our marketing efforts. That way, our prospects can better understand what it's really like to be a Soldier and, therefore, make an informed decision about serving our nation in the Army."

The Army also took awards in a new Effie category: brand experience. It recognizes the growing focus on reaching out to audiences to establish meaningful relationships, memorable experiences, and unique connections with a brand. Brand experience was the most competitive Effie category this year, according to those who ran the competition. They said the category received so many applications that judging was expanded to three rounds from two.

The Army swept the brand-experience category with two silver Effies, the only two awards presented, for the Virtual Army Experience and the Halo 3/Xbox Live initiative.

In 2008, Universal McCann, a McCann Worldgroup company, teamed with Microsoft on the Army's behalf to sponsor the first Halo 3 tournament over Xbox Live. Halo 3 is the third title in the popular Halo video game series.

"Our three Effie Award wins highlight the significance that the marketing industry is placing on brand experience," Freakley said. "It is an outstanding achievement and clearly demonstrates teamwork between our two supporting marketing agencies, McCann Worldgroup and Ignited, LLC, and the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis at the United States Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs, U.S. Army Accessions Command and the Soldiers who provided input for each of these programs."

The Effie Award wins are the latest in numerous prestigious marketing industry awards the Army has received this year, including SABRE Awards, One Show Festival, Webby Awards, Mixx Awards, and others.

(Submitted by Program Analysis & Initiatives Branch G7/Directorate of Marketing U.S. Army Accessions Command at Fort Knox, Ky.)

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