The making of Army Strong
November 8, 2006
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 9, 2006) - The Army's new advertising campaign will begin with the launch of three television ads Nov. 9, just before Veterans Day.
"Army Strong," a 30- and 60-second English-language spot, showcases powerful images from the lives of Soldiers. "Interview," a 30-second English-language spot, and "Entrevista," a 30-second Spanish-language spot, feature the story and transformation of a Soldier through his and his parents' own words.
Army Strong is inspired by the heart of the Army: the Soldier, according to Jonathan Cranin, creative director for McCann Worldgroup, the Army's marketing communications agency.
To identify the defining character of today's Soldiers and the motivations of tomorrow's Soldiers, McCann Worldgroup held in-depth research among future Soldiers and their influencers, and interacted with hundreds of current Soldiers. The creative team also took part in a three-day mini basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C.
"This allowed us, if only for 80 hours, to stand in the boots of American Soldiers," said Cranin, who said those experiences led to the naming of "Army Strong" as the theme for the new ads.
"Army Strong tested extremely well in research, garnering some of the most positive feedback among prospective Soldiers that the Army has seen in years. The feedback was that this campaign - this brand of strength - provided a powerful and distinctive insight into what the Army offers its Soldiers," Cranin added.
All uniformed Soldiers in the new ads are real Soldiers.
"No actor could ever authentically convey the power and intensity of an Army Strong Soldier," said Cranin. "That's why every Soldier featured in the new Army Strong advertising campaign is an actual Soldier. While the spots include leading-edge technology and equipment, the focus is on the experiences of Soldiers."
The ads were shot during 14 days of casting calls and in-person interviews with hundreds of Soldiers at Fort Riley, Kan,; Fort Lewis, Wash.; and Camp Pendleton, Ca. Soldiers appearing in the ads were chosen to best represent the careers, skills, experiences and cultural diversity that comprises today's Army, Cranin said.
The original musical score in the ads includes undertones from the 29-member Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, and is the work of Mark Isham.
The ads were directed by Samuel Bayer, who has produced videos for such artists as Green Day, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Sheryl Crow and Metallica. He has also created advertising campaigns for Nike, Coke, Pepsi, Nissan, Lexus and Mountain Dew.